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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 4. Textual analysis of Med3 199


Appendix 4. Textual analysis of Med3 All the academic words in the following text (Van der Stuyft 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 Reinvasion by Aedes aegypti of cities in the Americas poses a threat of urbanisation of yellow fever. After detection of yellow fever infection in a resident of the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia in December, 1997, we investigated all subsequent suspected cases Methods We introduced active surveillance of yellow fever in the Santa Cruz area. Hospitals and selected urban and rural health centres reported all suspected cases. Patients were serologically screened for yellow fever, dengue, hepatitis A and B, and leptospirosis. We collected clinical and epidemiological information from patients’ records and through inter- views. We also carried out population based serosurvey in the neighbourhood of one case Findings Between December, 1997, and June, 1998, symptomatic yellow fever infection was confirmed in six residents of Santa Cruz, five of whom died. Five lived in the southern sector of the city. Two had not left the city during the incuba- tion period, and one had visited only an area in which sylvatic transmission was deemed impossible. Of the 281 people covered in the serosurvey 16 (6%) were positive for IgM antibody to yellow fever. Among...

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