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Academic Discourse – New Insights into Evaluation


Edited By Gabriella Del Lungo Camiciotti and Elena Tognini Bonelli

This volume assembles a selection of papers presented at an international conference held in Pontignano, Siena, (14-16 June 2003). It discusses the concept of evaluation in academic discourse and the methodological tools most apt to investigate it. All contributions focus on a crucial dimension of academic communication: the epistemic and attitudinal assessment of content and the argumentative and metadiscourse devices used to interact with audiences of scholars or novices. The assembled contributions deal with theoretical and methodological issues including diverse academic genres ranging from written and oral texts. A report of the discussion on evaluation in academic texts concludes the volume.


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INMACULADA FORTANET-GÓMEZ (VALÈNCIA): Verbal Stance in Spoken Academic Discourse 99


INMACULADA FORTANET-GÓMEZ Verbal Stance in Spoken Academic Discourse 1. Introduction Academic spoken discourse has been analysed from different points of view. One of the most widely studied aspects is gender differences in university discourse (Boersma et al. 1981; Brooks, 1982; Bashiruddin et al. 1990; Bergvall, 1996; Bergvall and Remlinger 1996; Conefrey, 1997; Gunnarsson, 1997; Benwell and Stokoe (forthcoming)). Cross- disciplinary differences have also been a common topic of analysis from different perspectives (Dubois, 1987; Olsen / Huckin, 1991; Flowerdew, 1992; Prior 1994; Bergvall 1996; Gonzales 1996; Ochs et al. 1996). Additionally, some researchers have focused on specific language uses in academic registers (Dubois 1982; Fiksdal 1988; Grimshaw and Burke 1994; Guthrie 1997; Lindemann and Mauranen, 2001; Frobert-Adamo 2002; Fortanet (2004); Swales and Burke (forthcoming). However, little attention has been paid to the relationship be- tween the speaker and his or her speech and between the speaker and the audience in academic settings. Previous research using American oral academic discourse as a corpus (Fortanet 2002, 2003) showed that speakers use a number of resources to enhance their relationship with the audience or, on the contrary, to create a distance: choice of personal pronouns, introduction of questions, insertion of asides, use of reporting and quotation, etc. The relationship between participants, especially that established between lecturers and students, is closely linked to the relationship between speaker and subject matter. Univer- sity lecturers very often express their point of view about the topic explained or discussed, and also ask students for their opinion....

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