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Academic Vocabulary in Context


David Hirsh

Academic texts present subject-specific ideas within a subject-independent framework. This book accounts for the presence of academic words in academic writing by exploring recurring patterns of function in texts representing different subject areas. The book presents a framework which describes academic word use at the ideational, textual and interpersonal levels. Functional categories are presented and illustrated which explain the role of academic words alongside general purpose and technical terms. The author examines biomedical research articles, and journal articles from arts, commerce and law. A comparable analysis focuses on university textbook chapters. Case studies investigate patterns of functionality within the main sections of research articles, compare word use in academic and non-academic texts reporting on the same research, and explore the carrier word function of academic vocabulary. The study concludes by looking at historical and contemporary processes which have shaped the presence of academic vocabulary in the English lexicon.


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Appendix 2. Textual analysis of Med1 181


Appendix 2. Textual analysis of Med1 All the academic words in the following text (Emerson et al. 1999) are highlighted in italics and the assignment of each academic word occurrence to one of six functional categories is indicated by the appearance of the following symbols immediately before each word. Symbol Functional category Metatextual Extratextual Intratextual Scholarly process States of affairs Relations between entities Summary Background Domestic flies are accepted vectors of diarrhoea, but their role in trachoma transmission has never been quantified and no study has shown that fly control decreases the prevalence of trachoma. We assessed the effect of fly control on public health in a pilot study in Gambian villages. Methods We studied two pairs of villages, one pair in the 1997 wet season, and one pair in the 1998 dry season. For each pair, deltamethrin was sprayed for 3 months to control flies in one village whilst the other was used as a control. Fly populations were monitored with traps. We surveyed trachoma at baseline and at 3 months, and collected daily data on diarrhoea in children aged between 3 months and 5 years. Findings Fly control decreased numbers of muscid flies by around 75% in the intervention villages compared with controls. Trachoma prevalence was similar at baseline (wet season, prevalence in intervention village 8.8% vs control 12.2%; dry season, 18.0% vs 16.0%), but after 3 months of fly control there were 75% fewer new cases of trachoma in the intervention villages (wet season 3.7% vs 13.7%;...

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