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Claim-making and Claim-challenging in English and Polish Linguistic Discourses


Grzegorz Kowalski

The book presents the results of multi-parameter corpus research on Polish and English scientific discourses in the field of Linguistics. Highlighting the relevance of contextual variables (including time, culture, L1 vs. L2 language) in research framework, the study develops a discourse model of the scientific article, integrating paradigmatic, interpersonal and textual dimensions. The model is applied to investigate distribution patterns of linguistic exponents of claim-making and claim-challenging, i.e. two processes fundamental to scientific argumentation. The results show the changes which English and Polish linguistic discourses underwent between 1980 and 2010, and the extent to which English as lingua franca of modern science affects Polish L1 and English L2 linguistic discourses.
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In recent years there can be observed an increased scholarly interest in scientific discourse, which may in fact be motivated by the growing importance of scientific publishing. The change is not so much qualitative in character since scientific texts have always functioned as records of theoretical constructs and reports of experiments, thus stimulating the evolution of disciplines and confirming their authors’ status as members of scientific community. Rather, the ever-expanding significance of scientific publishing is mainly due to quantitative changes, in particular the exponential growth in the volume of Web-based resources. But Web-based publishing is only one of the facets of the evolution which new technologies brought into scientific community. New channels of communication have streamlined contacts between scholars operating the world over, providing opportunities to share scientific knowledge in no time. Adding to that the more and more unrestricted academic mobility – though in this case the reasons being more political and economic than technological – it becomes evident that science, like many other domains of social activity, benefits greatly from the process of globalization.

Yet globalization also exerts considerable influence on more fundamental aspects of science, including redefinition of the boundaries of scientific community, both geographically and socially. As for the former, a shift is observed from once predominant local contexts of research (i.e. national scientific communities) to global ones. As for the latter, there can now be observed frequent interactions between science and other domains of social activity, which blur the demarcation line between the...

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