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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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Bundle-driven metadiscourse analysis: Sentence initial bundles in Chinese and New Zealand postgraduates’ thesis writing (Liang Li / Margaret Franken / Shaoqun Wu)


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Liang Li1, Margaret Franken2 and Shaoqun Wu3

Bundle-driven metadiscourse analysis: Sentence initial bundles in Chinese and New Zealand postgraduates’ thesis writing

Abstract: Metadiscourse and lexical bundles are two closely related concepts and both operate as overlapping functional units in texts. Metadiscourse analysis always takes a top-down approach, in which discourse analysts begin from pre-determined metadiscourse items down to the analysed texts. Lexical bundle analysis usually uses a bottom-up approach, in which the analysis begins with bundles, extracted automatically from texts, up to generate metadiscourse items to reach an understanding of the discourse. The bundle-driven bottom-up approach is likely to lead to the discovery of longer metadiscourse units and create new categories, while at the same time allowing for the verification of existing researcher-generated metadiscourse lists. While many researchers have focused on examining metadiscourse in academic writing, few studies have used a bottom up approach beginning with lexical bundles in this way to explore the use of metadiscourse. Moreover, research on sentence initial bundles is rare.

The present study explores the metadiscourse functions of generated four-word sentence initial bundles from the corpora of Chinese L2 and New Zealand L1 masters and PhD theses, and compares bundle distributions between L1 and L2 thesis writing. Except for a few propositional bundles, all the other bundles were identified as metadiscourse bundles and two new categories (introduction bundles and condition bundles) were created in to supplement those in Hyland’s (2005a, 2005c) metadiscourse model. In contrast to...

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