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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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4.3.2. Exclusive we


In my corpus first-person singular pronouns are used mostly in the remaining four functions of Tang and John’s (1999) original typology. The first in order, the architect of the text, highlights the author’s agency in creating the text’s ← 222 | 223 → structure and organizing its content. In contrast to the function of the guide, in which the article is represented statically, as an entity seemingly existing before prior to the author and the reader’s gradual unveiling its subsequent parts, the function of the architect entails a dynamic perspective, assuming the construction of the text to be a process occurring simultaneously with its actual reporting. Two excerpts from the corpus show how first-person pronouns are used in the function of the architect; example (223) makes use of a particularly evocative metaphor.

223. In order to discuss the Masoretic accents, I must first lay a groundwork for those unfamiliar with the history of the Hebrew language […] (Aronoff ENG_ENG 1985)

224. Na wstępie chciałabym zestawić swego rodzaju katalog kwestii, które w dalszym ciągu będą dokładniej lub pobieżniej naświetlone. (Grzegorczykowa PL_PL 1995)[At the beginning I would like to arrange some set of issues which will be later highlighted in more or less detail.]

The function of the recounter of the research process (or methodological I, as Harwood 2005c calls it) covers all instances of using first-person singular pronouns with material process verbs such as transcribe, count, compare, etc....

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