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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 within and across Disciplinary Communities


ULISSE BELOTTI 7. Variations of Identity in Single- and Multi-Authored Economics RA Abstracts 1. Introduction The purpose of this chapter is to examine how Italian economists manifest identity in research article (RA) abstracts. Since RAs may be drafted by single authors (SA) and multiple authors (MA), we will make comparisons between these two types of texts to discover which forms of identity are manifested and whether these manifestations are similar or different. Albeit research article abstracts have received con- sistent scholarly attention, little research has been undertaken on manifestations of identity, be they professional or cultural. Identity in academic discourse at large has been explored both in spoken discourse (Johnstone 1996) and in written discourse (Ivaniþ 1998, Vassileva 2000, Sokól 2005). These studies have highlighted the strategies that members of particular discourse communities employ to negotiate their identity within what Sokòl (2005: 324) calls “the range of possibilities accepted by this community and inscribed in its communicative practices”. Indeed, the space in which abstractors can express identity is likely to be delimited by both the discourse community’s shared practices and the abstractors’ desire to present new findings. The aim of this study is twofold: firstly I will identify mani- festations of identity in RA abstracts written by economics scholars (single-authors) and secondly I will investigate how these mani- festations of identity may vary in multi-authored RA abstracts. In particular, the focus of this study is to describe the rhetorical roles authors may take on, the use of self-references...

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