New Perspectives on Research, Teaching and Practice
Section 5: The ‘Grammar’ of Business Communication
DIANE GOOSSENS1 / SYLVIE DE COCK Around Numbers: Combinations of Approximators and Numbers in Business News Reporting and in Academic Business English 1. Introduction The expression of quantity is one of the key elements in business dis- course. It has, however, received little attention in linguistic studies focusing on business discourse2. Quantity can be expressed in a varie- ty of ways: in a precise or imprecise/vague manner; using numbers, nouns (e.g. majority), adjectives (e.g. a large amount) or quantifiers (e.g. many) for example. The focus of this chapter is on comparing approximations involving numbers (e.g. around 60) in two written business genres3: business news reporting, on the one hand, and aca- demic business English4, on the other hand. After a brief review of the literature on the approximation of quantity (Section 2), Sections 3 and 4 provide a description of the data and corpus-driven method used in the present study. The discussion of the results in Section 5 centers around three main research questions which focus on the frequency of number approximations in the two business genres under study, on the 1 Diane Goossens acknowledges the support of the Fonds Spécial de Recherche (FSR, Université catholique de Louvain), which funds the research project within which she is currently completing her PhD thesis. 2 In this study, we concentrate on what Nelson (2000) refers to as ‘language used for writing about business’. 3 In this chapter ‘genres’ are defined as “staged, structured, communicative events, motivated by various communicative purposes, and...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.