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Mapping Academic Values in the Disciplines

A Corpus-Based Approach

Series:

Davide Simone Giannoni

A broad strand of applied linguistic research has focused on the language of science and scholarship, stressing its role in the construction and negotiation of knowledge claims. Central to the success of such texts is the use of evaluative expressions encoding what is considered to be desirable or undesirable in a given domain. While the speech acts relevant to evaluation have been extensively researched, little is known of the underlying values they encode. This volume seeks to fill the gap by exploring the main facets of academic value in a corpus of research articles from leading journals in anthropology, biology, computer science, economics, engineering, history, mathematics, medicine, physics and sociology. The collocations and qualified entities associated with such variables in the corpus provide insights into how scholars draw on a repertoire of conventional, largely unqualified, axiological meanings instrumental to the production of new knowledge in their field.

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Contents

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Acknowledgements ............................................................................ 11 1. Introduction .................................................................................... 13 1.1. Mapping discipline-specific values .......................................... 14 1.2. Outline of contents ................................................................... 16 2. Theoretical background .................................................................. 19 2.1. Academia and the disciplines ................................................... 19 2.2. Discourse communities ............................................................ 29 2.3. Academic English and ELF ..................................................... 34 2.4. Research genres ....................................................................... 37 2.4.1. The research article ....................................................... 40 2.5. The values of academia ........................................................... 42 2.6. Evaluation and stance .............................................................. 53 2.7. Working with corpora .............................................................. 58 3. Materials and data ........................................................................... 65 3.1. Disciplinary fields .................................................................... 65 3.2. Source journals ........................................................................ 66 3.3. Text selection ........................................................................... 68 4. Methodology ................................................................................... 73 4.1. Corpus data .............................................................................. 73 4.2. Selection of candidate items .................................................... 75 4.3. Additional candidate items ...................................................... 78 4.4. Assessing value-marker status ................................................. 79 4.5. Pilot study ................................................................................ 81 4.6. Linguistic analysis ................................................................... 83 4.6.1. Distribution of values across disciplines ........................ 83 4.6.2. Qualified entities ............................................................ 84 4.6.3. Collocational evidence ................................................... 85 4.7. Interpretation of data ................................................................ 86 8 5. Goodness markers ........................................................................... 89 5.1. Identification of value-marker status ....................................... 89 5.2. Preliminary results ................................................................... 93 5.3. Additional items ....................................................................... 94 5.4. Overall results .......................................................................... 95 5.5. Distribution across disciplines ................................................. 98 5.6. Different parts of speech ........................................................ 103 5.7. Qualified entities and realisations .......................................... 104 5.7.1. Group A ........................................................................ 105 5.7.2. Group B ........................................................................ 113 5.7.3. Group C ........................................................................ 114 5.7.4. Group D ........................................................................ 115 5.7.5. Group E ........................................................................ 117 5.8. Discussion .............................................................................. 119 5.8.1. Saliency of goodness .................................................... 119 5.8.2. Type of marker and qualified entity ............................. 121 6. Size markers ................................................................................. 123 6.1. Selection of candidate items ................................................. 124 6.2. Additional items ................................................................... 125 6.3. Overall results ........................................................................ 126 6.3.1. Predicative vs. attributive uses ..................................... 127 6.4. Distribution across disciplines ............................................... 129 6.5. Qualified entities and realisations .......................................... 133 6.5.1. Group A ........................................................................ 133 6.5.2. Group B ........................................................................ 135 6.5.3. Group C...

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