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Genre Change in the Contemporary World

Short-term Diachronic Perspectives


Giuliana Elena Garzone, Paola Catenaccio and Chiara Degano

This volume focuses on the evolution of genres in specialized communication under the pressure of technological innovations and the profound social changes triggered by globalization in the contemporary world, in a context where rapid and extensive changes in communicative practices, patterns and technologies have deeply affected the generic configuration of professional and disciplinary domains.
These developments call for a reconsideration of the repertoires of conventions traditionally identified in each specific genre as well as for a reassessment of the analytical tools used to investigate them, about three decades after the emergence of genre analysis.


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Academic and Scientific Discourse


MARINA BONDI / SILVIA CAVALIERI The Evolution of the Abstract as a Genre: 1988-2008. The Case of Applied Linguistics 1. Introduction Academic discourse has been the object of increasing attention in the last two decades, especially from a genre perspective (Swales 1990, 2004; Bhatia 1993, 2004). Interest has focused on empirical research- based genres (research articles, abstracts, etc.) often combining lin- guistic and rhetorical analysis (Berkenkotter/Huckin 1995). Although not as widely researched as the research article itself, the abstract has recently drawn the attention of a number of genre researchers. As Bondi (1997: 396) states, “abstracts would seem to provide excellent material for genre analysis. Their textual structure is comparatively easy to identify and their size is manageable for different types of linguistic analysis”, but particularly so for close analysis of rhetorical moves (Bhatia 1993; Kaplan et al. 1994; Dos Santos 1996; Hyland 2000; Bondi 1997, 2001; Stotesbury 2003; Martìn-Martìn 2003, Dahl 2004, 2009, Lorés-Sanz 2004, 2006, 2008, Pho 2008; Gillaerts/van De Velde 2010) or sentence relations (Bondi 2004; van Bonn/Swales 2007; Golebiowski 2009). Debate around the textual structure of abstracts shows substan- tial agreement on the role played by the empirical research process. Following Bhatia (1993: 78-79), four moves can be identified: 1. Introducing purpose: a statement of the author’s intention (the problem to be tackled, the objectives of the paper, the hypothesis on which the research is based, the thesis supported); 2. Describing methodology: an exposition of the experimental design (data, procedures, methods, scope); 3....

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