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Mapping Academic Values in the Disciplines

A Corpus-Based Approach


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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Acknowledgements 11


11 Acknowledgements Any academic achievement is built on the shoulders of others. In my case gratitude is due first of all to Paul Thompson (now Director of the Centre for Corpus Research, University of Birmingham) for guidance during the doctoral stage of the research. Among those who variously contributed to this project, I am indebted to Clare Furneaux and to the series editor Maurizio Gotti for their comments. A word of thanks goes to librarians at the universities of Reading, Lancaster and London. Finally, on a more personal level, I am grateful to my wife for making me see the wood beyond the trees and to my Maker who allowed the trees to bear fruit.

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