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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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Contextual and Pragmatic Functions of Modal Epistemic Hedges in Argumentative Paragraphs in Turkish (Ciler Hatipoglu / Sedef Algi)


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Ciler Hatipoglu1 and Sedef Algi2

Contextual and Pragmatic Functions of Modal Epistemic Hedges in Argumentative Paragraphs in Turkish

Abstract: Writing, differently from skills such as speaking and listening, is a skill usually taught in school settings. The training in writing is believed to be culture-specific and it is often done following the expectations and needs of individual societies. Therefore, every culture has its unique writing conventions that differentiate it from the others. Writing also means absorption of subtle but at the same time pervasive cultural norms about ways of arguing, addressing an audience, expressing authority as well as ways of toning down uncertainty or potentially risky claims. Using these statements as a starting point and taking metadiscourse as an analytical framework, this chapter examines argumentative paragraphs written in Turkish by native speakers (NS) of Turkish and tries to uncover in which contexts with what pragmatic functions NS of Turkish utilise the discourse modulation devices known as epistemic hedges. The findings of the study show that epistemic hedges in the Turkish language are a rich, multifaceted and multifunctional group of metadiscoursal tools which can assume various and sometimes contrasting pragmatic roles in the different sections of the argumentative text.

Keywords: hedges, Turkish argumentative essays, contextual and pragmatic functions of hedges

1. Introduction

Writing is usually a consciously learned skill through formal instruction in a school setting. The training in writing is culture specific (Galtung 1981) and it is...

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