Akten des 44. Linguistischen Kolloquiums 2009 in Sofia
Edited By Maria Grozeva-Minkova and Boris Naimushin
Quantitative Data Presentation in German Research Articles in Economics
← 538 | 539 → Irena Vassileva (Sofia)
Harwood (1995: 48) describes the ‘clash of academic cultures’ at the time when German scientists – refugees from the Nazi regime emigrated to the USA - as follows:
The émigrés were struck by their American hosts’ preoccupation with method and measurement while the Americans were amazed by their guests’ predilection for theorizing on a grand scale.
The Americans were an academic “community that was predominantly experimental”. A similar claim is made by Galtung (1985) in his seminal paper on intellectual styles of scientific communication. These observation are, however, relatively outdated and based on general impressions rather than concrete investigations.
Clyne (1993: 9) compares quantitatively and qualitatively English and German academic texts in linguistics and comes to the conclusion that:
Some cultures, for instance the English-speaking ones, are more formally oriented than others. […] A content orientation is related to the cultural idealisation of science and to the authority of the scholar or the intellectual.1
In order to check the above claims in view of modern scientific argumentation practices the present study aims to look at the ways and means of quantitative data presentation in German economics articles with special attention to the expression of approximated quantities. The functional-communicative values of the elicited vague expressions are discussed in terms of Channell’s (1994) and Dönninghaus’ (2005) classifications. Further on, the investigation focuses on the linguistic means of realisation of approximations. The presentation of statistical data...
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