Crossed Words: Criticism in Scholarly Writing

by Françoise Salager-Meyer (Volume editor) Beverly Lewin (Volume editor)
©2011 Edited Collection 371 Pages
Series: Linguistic Insights, Volume 104


In order for science to advance, previous research findings must be reviewed and criticized. However, conveying criticism is particularly difficult for scientists who must, at the same time, try to maintain an impersonal stance. This co-edited collection of independent studies written by scholars from many different countries addresses the thorny issue of criticism in science through discourse analysis of written scientific texts.
The research reported in this volume deals with questions such as: 1) how criticism is conveyed by various linguistic communities, such as Serbian, French, Spanish, German and English; 2) how criticism is handled in various genres, with examples drawn from book reviews, referees’ reports, research articles, editorials, and review/meta-analysis papers; 3) the extent to which criticism is influenced by academic discipline, with findings from linguistics, economics, biology, business, musicology, chemistry, literary research, medicine, and physics, and 4) the impact interpersonal considerations have on the linguistic realization of criticism.
The conclusions reached by these contributions have implications for both the academic world and society at large in the sense that a fuller understanding of how criticism is expressed will help in the education of future scholars and in the understanding of the social construction of knowledge.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2011 (October)
Pragmatics Discourse analysis Applied Linguistics Sociolinguistics Textual linguistics
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2011. 371 pp., num. fig. and tables

Biographical notes

Françoise Salager-Meyer (Volume editor) Beverly Lewin (Volume editor)

Françoise Salager-Meyer teaches English for Specific Purposes and Russian at the University of the Andes (Mérida, Venezuela), where she co-ordinates the Multidisciplinary and Multilingual Research Group on Scientific Discourse Analysis. She has published several articles dealing with the linguistic, rhetorical and discoursal features of medical English, Spanish and French prose in international journals and has edited the Language and Medicine section of the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2005). Beverly A. Lewin has over 30 years experience teaching scientific writing, chiefly at Tel Aviv University and also at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Her research mainly focuses on the interpersonal aspects of scientific writing, namely strategies for realizing politeness and criticism. She is also working on genre analysis of literary research texts. In addition, she has published a textbook for novice writers, Writing Readable Research: A Guide for Students of Social Science.


Title: Crossed Words: Criticism in Scholarly Writing