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Academic Identity Traits

A Corpus-Based Investigation


Edited By Maurizio Gotti

This volume investigates identity traits in academic discourse. Its main purpose is to better understand how and to what extent language forms and functions are adapting to the globalisation of academic discourse. Key factors of verbal behaviour such as the affiliation of actors to one or more cultures have been found to interact, producing transversal identities that are independent of local traits, with a tendency to merge and hybridise in an intercultural sense. The volume consists of three main parts: The first deals with identity traits across languages and cultures, as the use of a given language affects the writing of a scholar, especially when it is not his/her native language. The second comprises investigations of identity features characterising specific disciplinary communities or marking a differentiation from other branches of knowledge. The third part of the volume deals with identity aspects emerging from genre and gender variation.


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MAURIZIO GOTTI Introduction 9


MAURIZIO GOTTI Introduction This volume investigates identity traits in academic discourse, explo- ring the complex relationship that exists between shared disciplinary norms and individual traits in written texts. Indeed, despite the stan- dardising pressure of cultural and language-related factors, academic communication remains in many ways a highly personal affair, with active participation in a disciplinary community requiring a multi- dimensional discourse that combines the professional, institutional, social and individual identities of its members. The area covered by this volume is a central one for many scholars working in the field of academic discourse. Its importance is confirmed by the constant pro- duction of influential monographs and studies, as the first chapter of this volume clearly attests. Research on this topic has become wider and richer thanks to the contribution of recent methodological innova- tions – from textual approaches to critical discourse perspectives, from corpus linguistics to conversation analysis – which have influenced studies of both oral and written academic texts. 1. The research project This volume originates from a research project on Identity and Culture in English Domain-Specific Discourse funded by the Italian Ministry of Research (COFIN Grant No. 2005109911), coordinated by the University of Bergamo and conducted in cooperation with the Univer- sities of Milan, Naples, Turin and IUSM Rome. In this project special attention has been given to the relationship between socioculturally- oriented identity-related factors and textual variation in different 10 Maurizio Gotti branches of English specialised discourse. The project has taken into account the internationalisation of English specialised discourse,...

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