Criticism under scrutiny

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In this paper, I specifically address the issue of the linguistic realisations of criticism in French, Spanish and English medical discourse written in the 19th and 20th centuries, the reasons why 19th century criticism was linguistically conveyed in a strikingly similar fashion in the three languages, and how and why in the closing years of the 20th century the discourse pattern of Spanish criticism started adopting the ‘politically correct’ tone of its Anglo-American counterpart. By placing the evolution of English, French and Spanish criticism in their broader educational, historical, political and socio-economic context, I argue the that behavioural changes observed in the framing of medical criticism reflect the evolution of increasingly competitive, collegial and pragmatic end-of-20th-century scientific research.


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