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Metadiscourse in Written Genres: Uncovering Textual and Interactional Aspects of Texts

Edited By Ciler Hatipoglu, Erdem Akbas and Yasemin Bayyurt

Taking metadiscourse as their starting point, the contributions to this edited volume focus both on the interactive and cross-cultural aspects of written texts from varying genres. Using rich and innovative data collection and analysis methods, comparing and contrasting patterns in frequently studied (English, Japanese) with understudied (Turkish, Russian/Ukrainian) languages, and relating empirical data to a web of theoretical frameworks, the articles in this book clearly display the variety, complexity and multiplicity of metadiscoursal analysis of written texts. The volume aims to substantially advance our understanding of the communicative nature of written texts and contributes to the advancement and expansion of researchers’ interests in this field.

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The first chapter in the book is authored by Davud Kuhi who presents and discusses a preliminary framework that enables researchers to include and better understand the contextual origins of metadiscourse features of texts. Kuhi argues that if the findings of metadiscourse research are to be interpreted and implemented in more meaningful ways, then, they should be contextualized within such process-oriented frameworks. Otherwise, according to him, the analyses of texts become dangerously detached from their contextual origins; which in turn, reduces the real discoursal nature of the interpersonal dimensions of scholarly communication.

The following three chapters focus on hedging and boosting devices employed by various groups of native and non-native speakers in their written works. Robert MacIntyre, in his article entitled “Should I boost or should I hedge: the use of hedges and boosters in the writing of argumentative essays by Japanese university students”, focuses on the hedges and boosters in a 44764-word corpus of argumentative essays written in English by first-year undergraduate students who were native speakers of Japanese. As expected from the eastern culture writers (Galtung 1981), native speakers of Japanese employed a much bigger number of boosters and a much smaller number of hedges when compared to the native speaker of English in their argumentative texts. After examining the effect of factors such as transfer from L1, L2 pedagogical materials, and the influence of spoken discourse, MacIntyre concludes that more than those, in his study, factors such as participants’ lack of knowledge of...

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