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Investigating Specialized Discourse

Third Revised Edition

Maurizio Gotti

Investigating Specialized Discourse is a shortened and revised textbook edition of the monograph Specialized Discourse (2003). This book analyses the various features of specialized discourse in order to assess its degree of specificity and diversification, as compared to general language. Prior to any analysis of such traits, the notion of specialized discourse and its distinctive properties are clarified. The presence of such properties is accounted for not only in linguistic but also in pragmatic terms since the approach is interpretative rather than merely descriptive. Indeed, the complexity of this discourse calls for a multidimensional analysis, covering both lexis and morpho-syntax as well as textual patterning. Some lexical aspects, morpho-syntactic features and textual genres are also examined from a diachronic perspective, thus showing how various conventions concerning specialized discourse have developed over the last centuries.
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Specialized Discourse

Linguistic Features and Changing Conventions

Maurizio Gotti

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Academic Identity Traits

A Corpus-Based Investigation

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Edited by Maurizio Gotti

This volume investigates identity traits in academic discourse. Its main purpose is to better understand how and to what extent language forms and functions are adapting to the globalisation of academic discourse. Key factors of verbal behaviour such as the affiliation of actors to one or more cultures have been found to interact, producing transversal identities that are independent of local traits, with a tendency to merge and hybridise in an intercultural sense. The volume consists of three main parts: The first deals with identity traits across languages and cultures, as the use of a given language affects the writing of a scholar, especially when it is not his/her native language. The second comprises investigations of identity features characterising specific disciplinary communities or marking a differentiation from other branches of knowledge. The third part of the volume deals with identity aspects emerging from genre and gender variation.
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Maurizio Gotti

This volume explores the relationship between shared disciplinary norms and individual traits in academic speech and writing. Despite the standardising pressure of cultural and language-related factors, academic communication remains in many ways a highly personal affair, with active participation in a disciplinary community requiring a multidimensional discourse that combines the professional, institutional, social and individual identities of its members.
The first section of the volume deals with tensions involving individual/collective values and the analysis of collective vs. individual discoursal features in academic discourse. The second section comprises longitudinal investigations of the academic output of single scholars, so as to highlight the individuality in their choices and the reasons for not conforming with the commonality of conventions shared by their professional community. The third part deals with genres that are meant to impose commonality on the members of an academic community, not only in the drafting of specialized texts but also when these are reviewed or evaluated for possible publication.
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Linguistic Insights

Studies in Language and Communication

Edited by Maurizio Gotti

This series aims to promote specialist language studies, both in the fields of linguistic theory and applied linguistics, by publishing volumes that focus on specific aspects of language use in one or several languages and provide valuable insights into language and communication research. A cross-disciplinary approach is favoured and most European languages are accepted.

The series includes two types of books:
Monographs – featuring in-depth studies on special aspects of language theory, language analysis or language teaching.
Collected papers – assembling papers from workshops, conferences or symposia.

Each volume of the series is subjected to a double peer-reviewing process.

Advisory Board
Vijay Bhatia (Hong Kong)
David Crystal (Bangor)
Konrad Ehlich (Berlin / München)
Jan Engberg (Aarhus)
Norman Fairclough (Lancaster)
John Flowerdew (Hong Kong)
Ken Hyland (Hong Kong)
Roger Lass (Cape Town)
Matti Rissanen (Helsinki)
Françoise Salager-Meyer (Mérida, Venezuela)
Srikant Sarangi (Cardiff)
Susan Šarcevic (Rijeka)
Lawrence Solan (New York)
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Edited by Maurizio Gotti and Susan Sarcevic

This volume focuses on specialist translation – one of the areas of translation in greatest demand in our age of globalization. The 16 chapters deal not only with the classical domains of science and technology, law, socio-politics and medicine but also with lesser researched areas such as archeology, geography, nutrigenomics and others. As a whole, the book achieves a blend of theory and practice. It addresses a variety of issues such as translation strategy based on text type and purpose, intercultural transfer and quality assessment, as well as textual and terminological issues in bilingual and multilingual settings, including international organizations and the European Union. Today translation competence presupposes multidisciplinary skills. Whereas some chapters analyze the linguistic features of special-purpose texts and their function in specialized communication, others show how specialized translation has changed as a result of globalization and how advances in technology have altered terminology research and translation processing.
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Modality in Specialized Texts

Selected Papers of the 1 st CERLIS Conference

Maurizio Gotti and Marina Dossena

This volume contains a selection of papers presented at an international conference held in Bergamo (5-6 May 2000), which focussed on the semantic and pragmatic values of modality in specialized texts – legal, economic, academic and medical. The assembled contributions give an overview of the range of scholarly approaches to modality. They convey the theoretical background and provide in-depth analyses of specialized texts on a synchronic as well as on a diachronic level.
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Wei Wang

Edited by Maurizio Gotti

This book contributes insights into second language (L2) students’ learning of academic genres in English for academic purposes (EAP) writing classes by its focus on the current EAP practice in the context of higher education of China. It presents knowledge construction of genre learning research in L2 writing and English for specific purposes (ESP) genre studies, and reports an in-depth qualitative inquiry into three issues of instruction-based genre learning in an academic writing class: students’ learning process of an academic genre in the community of an EAP writing class, students’ individual factors in the learning process, and genre knowledge development through engagement in genre-focused writing instruction. The book has theoretical implications for learning English for academic purposes as well as for learning English as a foreign language in general. It also has pedagogical implications for genre teaching in EAP at Chinese universities and similar educational contexts.

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Paul Gillaerts and Maurizio Gotti

The focus of this volume is on the business letter genre, a seminal and widely used genre in business communication. Since the introduction of the Internet, interest in this genre has increased once again, because of the digital format of the letter. E-mail has partially taken over the multiple functions of the traditional business letter and bypassed, again partially, the fax. However, the letter has also survived in its written form.
Since the 1990s, genre theory has been receiving a lot of attention, both in academic and pedagogical circles. Discourse analysts have increasingly discovered the importance of the genre concept for the understanding of discourse. Not only do we get a better understanding of the linguistic characteristics (register, lexico-grammatical features) of texts, but we also become aware of their macrostructures which appear to be organised according to genre expectations and conventions rooted in the socio-cultural context. This evolution is also reflected in the different research approaches to the business letter, as shown by the various chapters of this volume.
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John Flowerdew and Maurizio Gotti

This volume brings together a selection of papers originally presented at the Language for Specific Purposes Symposium which took place in Bergamo, Italy from 29 August to 2 September, 2005. In selecting from papers on specialized discourse presented at this conference, the editors have tried to create a thematic unity by grouping the papers according to four disciplinary areas: academic and scientific discourse, business discourse, institutional discourse, and legal discourse. Within these fields, a diversity of approaches has been maintained in order to represent the eclectic nature of studies in specialized discourse as they are carried out today.
It is no coincidence that the papers fall into these four areas, as these are fields with a very international dimension and hence the use of English, as the increasingly global language, is naturally very important. Indeed, all the papers included in this publication are in English and mainly focus on English. On the other hand, the contributors to this volume come from a range of different countries and mother tongues. This diversity represents the international interest in English as a language of specialized discourse and communication.