Variation in Written Interaction
DAVIDE SIMONE GIANNONI Book Acknowledgements across Disciplines and Texts 1. Introduction1 Following a number of recent studies on the language of acknowledgements in research articles (Giannoni 1998; 2002) and in postgraduate dissertations by native (Gesuato 2003, 2004a) and non- native speakers (Hyland 2003; Hyland / Tse 2004a, 2004b), this chapter explores their variation in academic monographs (hence Book AKs) as an expression of the ‘cultural repertoire’ and ‘rules of discourse’ of academia (Brodkey 1987: 18-23). Book AKs constitute the earliest form of written acknowledgement within the research genre system, originating from the ‘front matter’ printed in 17th century monographs, which ranged from prefatory epistles and advertisements to forewords and dedications to patrons or friends (cf. Roberts 2003a, 2003b). Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1638), for instance, includes a dedicatory page with poems, followed by a ‘satirical preface’ and an address to the reader; the treatises in More’s Philosophical Writings (1662) all open with an epistle dedicatory and a preface; Newton’s Opticks (1704) is introduced by a short advertisement. Research article acknowledgements may be regarded as an offshoot of the Book AKs genre and are today equally pervasive. Diachronic studies by Cronin et al. (2003, 2004) show a sharp increase in their use over the last century, especially since the 1970s. ȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱ * I am grateful to Vijay Bhatia and other Colloquium participants for their valuable comments on this paper. Thanks also to Richard Dury drawing my attention to Bauerlein’s (2001) article. Davide Simone Giannoni 152 The proportion of acknowledgement-bearing journal articles in philosophy,...
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