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Discourse, Identities and Roles in Specialized Communication

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Edited By Giuliana Elena Garzone and James Archibald

The studies presented in this volume focus on two distinct but related areas of specialized communication professional and academic settings, resting on an anti-essentialist notion of identity as a phenomenon that emerges from the dialectic between individual and society.
The authors start from a detailed analysis of discourse practices as evidenced in texts, their production and the professional performance patterns which underlie such practices, and explore the way the actors, roles and identities are constructed in language and discourse. In particular, by highlighting discursive attitudes and aptitudes, they underscore the need to understand discourse in light of norms of professional responsibility, showing that not only do professionals and academics use discourse to create self-identity, but they also use identity constructed through discourse to influence society.

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STEFANIA M.MACI Argumentative Structure in American and Italian Medical Research Articles 343

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STEFANIA M. MACI Argumentative Structure in American and Italian Medical Research Articles 1. Introduction Scientific discourse has been the object of in-depth research focussed on more stratified layers: from the identification of cultural and authorial identity in medical academic prose (Breivega/Dahl/Fløttum 2002; Hyland 2002a; Fløttum 2005, 2006), to that of self-quotation (Hyland 2001); from the detailed description of medical research article (RA) Introduction (Swales 1990; Samraj 2002), to the analysis of the complete structure of RAs (Nwogu 1997); from a discussion on the meta-discourse features characterizing medical writing (Dahl 2003, 2004), to a classification of the hedging devices used in medical academic discourse (Hyland 2006a; Salager-Meyer 2006) as well as to the examination of modality in written medical texts (Vihla 1999). Analyses have been carried out from a cross-cultural viewpoint (Moreno 1997; Vassileva 2001), which in some cases were dia- chronically conducted (Salager-Meyer/Alcaraz Ariza/Zambrano 2003). Issues on argumentations and persuasiveness have nonetheless been key-points in research on medical writing (Ferguson 2001; Hyland 2002b, 2006b). Further analysis has been carried out by members of the medical community. Noteworthy are the Guidelines for Abstracts (ANSI/NISO 1997), the Uniform Requirements for the Manuscripts Submitted To Biomedical Journals (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors 2006) and the various ‘technical’ guidelines for written medical texts (Horton 1995; Docherty/Smith 1999; Skelton/Edwards 2000; Signorino/Fiaschi 2003; Paraiti/Valentini 2005; Walker 2005). Stefania M. Maci 344 The proliferation of new specialised medical journals seems to confirm that scientific ideas at the basis of medical knowledge are formally constructed...

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