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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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Identity Traits across Languages and Cultures


DAVIDE S. GIANNONI 3. Local/Global Identities and the Medical Editorial Genre 1. Introduction Whether understood as a psychological, cultural or ideological con- struct, the notion of ‘identity’ lies at the intersection between commu- nity and individual, which makes it particularly relevant to the analy- sis of specialised discourse, approached as evidence of its users’ rela- tionships, practices and priorities. These in turn are closely related to the cultural dimension of linguistic interaction, since “the idea of a- ligning oneself with particular values, beliefs and interests through social practices, including literary practices, concerns the interface between ‘culture’ and ‘identity’” (Ivaniþ 1998: 66). Also successful academic communication depends on an awareness of the interactants’ identities and how these are normally textualised (or concealed) in a specific context. Academia embraces a myriad of ‘communities of knowledge and practice’ (Lave/Wenger 1991) regulated by processes for the induction of new members to the community’s identities, activities and textual artefacts. Scholars learn to write and speak ap- propriately by acquiring “a repertoire of linguistic practices which are based on complex sets of discourses, identities, and values” (Paltridge 2004: 90). Closely related to authorial identity is the notion of voice, de- fined by Tardy and Matsuda (2009: 34) as “a result of the negotiation between the writer and the reader mediated by the text”. Through this interactive process, authors signal who they are within the bounds of the disciplinary culture to which they subscribe: 60 Davide S. Giannoni Writers do not construct self-representations from an infinite range...

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