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Chapter 1. Academic voices and claims

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Abstract

This paper investigates contrastively how politeness strategies that involve reporting verbs are deployed in the Literature Review (LR) chapters of PhD theses written in English and in Spanish. It analyses a comparable corpus of 20 theses– 10 in English and 10 in Spanish – in computer science. It focuses on usesof reporting structures realised through integral and non-integral citations ofother texts (Hyland 1999). The research design is based on the model proposed by Thompson and Ye (1991), who distinguished three categories of reporting verbs according to the process they perform: textual, mental and research verbs,and analysed the evaluative potential of verbal processes whose responsibility is ascribed either to the reviewed author or to the reporting writer. We also took as a reference the politeness model offered by Brown & Levinson (1987) to study the presence of specific face-redressive politeness means in the double-voiced dialogue which is established in the corpus of LRs. Data show that English writers show personal commitment and tentativeness, while Spanish writers tend to mask individual voices and avoid personal confrontation.

References

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