Genres, Discourse Strategies and Professional Practices
Edited By Rita Salvi and Janet Bowker
Evidential Devices in English Medical Journals
The purpose of this chapter is to investigate some of the evidential markers used in a range of specialized medical journals, a genre where reference to evidence is of fundamental importance. Writers of this kind of literature need to substantiate their statements by providing some kind of evidence, specifying how they obtained the information conveyed. Therefore, besides that of the author, other voices are incorporated into the text not only to testify to awareness of previous works but mainly to “provide justification for arguments and demonstrate the novelty of one’s position” (Hyland 1999: 342). As a result, evidentiality is a powerful means for bestowing trustworthiness on a text and creating a reliable image of the author.
In this chapter I shall analyse the features of some evidential formulations in the attempt to provide an answer to the following questions:
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