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The Pragmatics of Academic Writing

Owtram, Nicola T.

The Pragmatics of Academic Writing

A Relevance Approach to the Analysis of Research Article Introductions

Series: Linguistic Insights - Volume 107

Year of Publication: 2010

Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2010. 311 pp., num. tables and graphs
ISBN 978-3-0343-0060-5 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.460 kg, 1.014 lbs

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Book synopsis

This volume investigates to what extent existing approaches to pragmatics and discourse shed light on how the form of a text creates stylistic effects. Taking a cross-cultural perspective, this book focuses on five key stylistic features of writing – paragraph structure, length and construction of sentences, organisation of information in sentences, relative formality of vocabulary, amount of nominalisation – widely seen as partly responsible for the different impressions created by academic writing in English and Italian. The author develops a theoretical framework for the investigation of intuitions about stylistic differences from a contrastive point of view. To this end, the book gives an overview of recent scholarly approaches to writing and reading, genre studies, contrastive rhetoric and the notions of style and stylistics, together with an assessment of several individual approaches.


Contents: Five Areas of Cross-cultural Variation – Conceptualisations of Academic Writing – Style Manuals: What Can They Tell Us? – Four Frameworks and Approaches: What Can They Tell Us? – Relevance Theory: Comprehension and Style – Relevance Theory: What Insights Can It Give Us?

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Nicola T. Owtram is head of the Language Centre at the European University Institute in Florence, where she teaches English for Academic Purposes. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from University College, London. Her research interests lie in the fields of academic writing, comparative stylistics, and cognitive pragmatics.


Linguistic Insights. Studies in Language and Communication. Vol. 107
Edited by Maurizio Gotti