Patterns, meaningful units and specialized discourses
  • ISSN 1384-6655
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9811
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The role played by mitigation in academic discourse has been the subject of intense scholarly interest over the last two decades, but interest in the role played by intensifying textual elements expressing evaluation and stance — emphasizers — is a more recent turn. This paper presents a preliminary attempt at capturing the uses of the adverb really across spoken and written academic registers. The adverb really is examined with an eye to how its frequencies, meanings and uses vary across spoken and written academic discourse. The findings will also be interpreted in terms of variation across genres and disciplines. A quantitative analysis of this adverb reveals significant distributional trends across both academic genres and disciplines, and a qualitative analysis of concordance lines confirms that these trends are motivated by genre-specific purposes and disciplinary-specific practices, respectively.


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