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Academic Discourse – New Insights into Evaluation

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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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MARC SILVER AND MARINA BONDI (MODENA AND REGGIO EMILIA): Weaving Voices: a Study of Article Openings in Historical Discourse 141

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MARC SILVER AND MARINA BONDI Weaving voices: a study of article openings in historical discourse 1. Introduction According to Bakhtin (1981), any act of speech is intrinsically dia- logic, not only because it presupposes or prefigures an addressee, but also because it inevitably encapsulates a multiplicity of voices. Bak- htin’s notion of dialogicity emphasizes the heteroglossia and internal stratification of any language and the dynamic process of taking and using another person’s words or thoughts as a natural element of texts. Forms of speech and thought representation in texts have long been of interest to linguists and discourse analysts alike. The basic distinction in discourse analysis has been described by Sinclair (1987) in terms of averral and attribution, averral being the default condition of a text, where the reader can assume that the responsibility for each proposi- tion lies with the speaker or writer, while attribution is the case where a proposition is indicated as deriving from a source. Discourse research has convincingly shown that use of reported dis- course is always partial and selective. The pragmatic status of pro- jected discourse, as identified by participants, has thus become more interesting than its existential status. Tannen’s (1989) notion of con- structed dialogue and Clark and Gerrig’s (1990) notion of selective depictive focus have opened the way for a number of studies of the pragmatic functions of quotes in oral discourse and in non-narrative contexts (cf. e.g. Myers 1999). The relationship between the given ut- terance and its presentation in another...

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