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English Text Construction

image of English Text Construction
ISSN 1874-8767
E-ISSN 1874-8775

<em>English Text Construction</em> is an internationally refereed journal of English Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and Literary Studies focusing on the communicating subject and the text constructing this intersubjective communication. The journal offers a forum for currently converging tendencies that place the text-constructing subject in centre stage. This general common denominator subsumes fundamental movements in the three disciplines of English studies, viz. literary studies, linguistics and applied linguistics. In literary studies narratological perspectives remain of abiding interest, as well as study of the psychologically and ideologically fragmented subject as it reveals itself in literary texts. The study of literature is currently also witnessing renewed interest in the gendered and sociopolitically situated subject and its moral responsibilities. In linguistics, the communicating subject is central to functional, cognitive and pragmatic approaches. Functional linguistics investigates how language is used to communicate about the world and to negotiate the social and discourse roles. Cognitive linguistics studies language usage as it constructs the perspectivized meanings of the conceptualizing subject. Pragmatic approaches focus on the whole message, both the linguistically predicated and the contextually implied one, exchanged between the interlocutors. In Applied linguistics, the subject also plays a central role. Applied linguistic interest in text and the construal of subjectivity is reflected, among others, in genre-oriented approaches to text, and in discourse-oriented and corpus-based analyses as the basis for various ELT applications. For instance, considerable attention has been devoted to issues such as stance in (research) writing and presentations, and to subjectivity in translation studies. Similarly, in language teaching methodology increased attention is given to individual learners and learning styles.

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  • Disciplinary voices: Interactions in research writing
    • Author: Ken Hyland
    • Source: English Text Construction, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2008, pages: 5 –22
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    • The concept of voice has become central to studies of discourse, composition, and literature, but in this paper I want to shift its meaning a little to explore an area where voice is thought to play only a minor role: that of academic writing. I intend here to explore the idea of ‘disciplinary voice’ by focusing on the interpersonal features of academic writing and elaborating how writers position themselves and their readers. Essentially, I believe the idea of voice can shed light on aspects of disciplinary argument and am interested to see what these features tell us about writers’ notions of appropriate relationships and what this means for writing in the disciplines. I will begin by looking briefly at the notion of voice, and go on to sketch an interactional model based on the ideas of stance, or how writers convey their attitudes and credibility, and engagement, or the ways they bring their readers into the discourse. I will then show how the choices writers make from these systems construct authorial voice, academic arguments, and the disciplines themselves.
  • Too chatty: Learner academic writing and register variation
    • Authors: Gaëtanelle Gilquin, and Magali Paquot
    • Source: English Text Construction, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2008, pages: 41 –61
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    • The study reported on in this paper uses corpus data in order to examine how upper-intermediate to advanced EFL learners from a wide range of mother tongue backgrounds perform a number of rhetorical functions particularly prominent in academic discourse, and how this compares with native academic writing. In particular, it is shown that one of the problems experienced by EFL learners is that they tend to use features that are more typical of speech than of academic prose, which suggests that they are largely unaware of register differences. Four possible explanations are offered to account for this register confusion, namely the influence of speech, L1 transfer, teaching-induced factors and developmental factors.
  • Intersubjectification and clause periphery
    • Author: Elizabeth Closs Traugott
    • Source: English Text Construction, Volume 5, Issue 1, 2012, pages: 7 –28
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    • Ways of identifying subjectification and especially intersubjectification are discussed using data from the history of English no doubt and surely. These adverbs arose out of non-modal expressions and were recruited for use as epistemic adverbs and metadiscursive markers. The data are shown not to support the hypothesis that expressions at left periphery are likely to be subjective (oriented toward turn-taking and discourse coherence), those at right periphery intersubjective (oriented toward turn-giving or elicitation of response, and toward the Addressee’s stance and participation in the communicative situation.). While no doubt is subjective at both left and right periphery, surely is intersubjective at both peripheries
  • Notions of (inter)subjectivity
    • Author: Jan Nuyts
    • Source: English Text Construction, Volume 5, Issue 1, 2012, pages: 53 –76
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    • This paper compares a few notions of ‘subjectivity’ (vs. ‘objectivity’ or ‘intersubjectivity’) circulating in the current functional and cognitive linguistic literature. It aims to demonstrate that, in spite of some points of contact in the analysis of certain linguistic issues, e.g. in the sphere of the modal categories, these notions actually refer to substantially different phenomena and should therefore not be confused.
  • Establishing the phraseological profile of a text type: The construction of meaning in academic book reviews
    • Author: Ute Römer
    • Source: English Text Construction, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2010, pages: 95 –119
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    • Starting from the observation that meaning does not primarily reside in individual words but in the phrase, this paper focuses on the examination of recurring phrases in language. It introduces a new analytical model that leads corpus researchers to a profile of the central phraseological items in a selected text or text collection. In this paper, the model is applied to a 3.5-million word corpus of online academic book reviews that represents part of the specialized discourse of the global community of linguists. This demonstrates how the model facilitates the study of the occurrence and distribution of the central phraseological items in linguistic book reviews, and how it helps to determine the extent of the phraseological tendency of language.
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