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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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Part 1. Perspectives on scientific community


This chapter provides a theoretical outline of selected linguistic and sociological approaches to the concept of scientific community. As for the former, the focus is on works analyzing scientific community as a discourse community, most of which originate in Anglo-Saxon discourse analysis. As for the latter perspective, a common issue of sociological accounts is the condition of scientific community, which is characteristic to Polish literature on the topic, in particular in terms of the transition period of Polish politics, economy and society after 1989. From a sociological perspective, Anglo-Saxon and Polish scientific communities are thus contrasted as subject to, respectively, evolutionary and revolutionary modes of development.

Having presented the dominant approaches to scientific community in Anglo-Saxon and Polish contexts, I argue for the relevance of a discursive definition of scientific community, combining both sociological and linguistic aspects. Central to this approach is the recognition of dynamics which applies to different dimensions of scientific community, not only to its paradigmatic foundation, as has been foregrounded in philosophical essays by Kuhn (1957, 1970) or Ziman (1968), but also to membership and power relations and patterns of communication, which are of particular relevance for the present study. It is postulated that the dimensions do not evolve independently of one another, but are reciprocally conditioning. The closing sections of Part 1 are devoted to the issue of scientific communication, its essential genres and evolution, with a distinction made between communication within scientific community (intra-group communication) and with outsiders (inter-group communication)...

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