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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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PAULINEWEBBER (ROME): Negation in Linguistics Papers 181

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PAULINE WEBBER Negation in Linguistics Papers 1. Introduction There has been a re-awakening of interest in negation, particularly as in recent work on appraisal theory several authors have included nega- tion among the features of ‘engagement’ which realise the rhetorical potential of text to express author’s stance and negotiate convergence with or divergence from other views, beyond modality and hedging. In order to investigate this further, a sample of linguistics articles from reputed journals was collected and occurrences of negation were lo- cated and analysed to consider how they are used and for what pur- poses. The hypothesis was that, as experience is typically coded in positive terms (Hidalgo Downing, 2002), there must be a ‘good rea- son’ for choosing the negative. Therefore, it was postulated that in academic articles authors might use the negative to express dissatis- faction with notions put forward by other scholars or to delimit their position. It has been said there is twice as much negation in speech as in writing (Tottie, 1991). Although written text is considered interactive (Hunston / Thompson, 2000; Sinclair, 1981), it is not usually recipro- cal. Consequently, whereas in face-to-face dialogue negatives are gen- erally found in response to stimuli such as questions, in the written texts studied here the proposition giving rise to the negative item is not present in the text but it is implicit. In some cases, (Sheen 2002, in response to Lightbown, and Stubbs 2001, in response to Widdowson) there are responses published subsequently in the...

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