Different worlds, different audiences

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The purpose of this paper is to investigate the rhetorical variation between the RA (research article) abstract written in English for international journals and the RA abstract written in Spanish for national publications. For such purposes a total of 80 RA abstracts written in English and Spanish were selected, 40 written in English, from five leading international journals in linguistics, and 40 others from five Spanish journals, also in the field of linguistics. Two different rhetorical organisations of abstracts were found to be favoured in each subcorpus: whereas English RA abstracts tended to follow the canonical IMRD structure, Spanish abstracts included long introductions and tended to omit both the methodology and the results obtained. It is here argued that an explanation for divergences should be sought not only in the different linguistic background but mainly in the relationship between the writer and the disciplinary community s/he belongs to.


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