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Current Trends in LSP Research

Aims and Methods

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Edited By Margrethe Petersen and Jan Engberg

This volume offers an overview of new perspectives and ongoing developments in research on Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) and specialised discourse. Traditionally investigated on the basis of terminology and genre studies, the area now also draws on such diverse fields as sociolinguistics, sociology, psychology and communication studies. This widening range of perspectives increases the need for insights into and knowledge about current developments in research on LSP and specialised discourse.
The chapters included here have been selected to address this need. Based on papers presented at the XVII European LSP Symposium, they reflect its focus: aims and methods in current research on LSP and specialised discourse. Two chapters present the research history of the area, its current status, and emergent issues. Nine chapters exemplify methods currently applied, new aims pursued, or new aims supported by innovative methods. The methods include discourse analysis, use of specialist informants, study of multimedia texts, sociological observation, interviews, etc. The aims vary from unveiling politicians’ linguistic representation of the 2008 financial meltdown over inclusion of visual representations in LSP research to clarifying the limits of lay understanding of specialised knowledge. In sum, the volume offers the reader a holistic, yet multi-faceted overview of state-of-the-art research in this area.

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JAN ENGBERG, MARGRETHE PETERSEN Aims and Methods in LSP Research – Current Trends ........................ 9 Prologue KLAUS SCHUBERT Specialized Communication Studies: An Expanding Discipline ........ 19 Section 1: Methods RICHARD J. ALEXANDER ‘If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down.’ How Top Politicians Talk about Financial Crises .............................. 61 INGER ASKEHAVE, LISE-LOTTE HOLMGREEN Cultural Awareness in a Corporate Context: What Constructions of ‘Culture’ May Reveal .................................... 83 TRINE DAHL The Ideal Informant: On the Use of Subject Specialists in Analyses of LSP Texts ................................................................. 107 Section 2: Aims AZIRAH HASHIM, RICHARD POWELL Exploring Language Choice in Malaysian Trials and Arbitrations: Common Aims, Complementary Methods ............ 129 BEYZA BJÖRKMAN Investigating English as a Lingua Franca in Applied Science Education: Aims, Methods, Findings and Implications ..................................... 163 MARIANNE GROVE DITLEVSEN Towards a Methodological Framework for Knowledge Communication .......................................................... 187 SIMONA SANGIORGI The ‘As If Game’ of Textual Hyperreality: A Case Study .................................................................................... 209 Section 3: Aims and Methods MARTIN J. EPPLER, SABRINA BRESCIANI, MARGARET TAN, KLARISSA CHANG Expanding the Boundaries of LSP Research: Using Intercultural Experiments to Examine the Role of Visual Representations in Text Comprehension and Retention ....... 235 FRANK C. KEIL The Problem of Partial Understanding ............................................. 251 Epilogue CHRISTHOPHER N. CANDLIN, JONATHAN CRICHTON Emergent Themes and Research Challenges: Reconceptualising LSP ..................................................................... 277 Notes on Contributors ....................................................................... 317

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