Volume 17, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1384-6655
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9811
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The aim of this quantitative and qualitative study is to compare inclusive and exclusive self-reference in a bilingual English-Spanish corpus of biomedical research articles. The study combines corpus techniques with move analysis to determine where authors resort to first-person reference in Discussion sections. Quantitative analysis showed that Spanish writers selected between exclusive and mixed inclusive-exclusive perspectives equally whereas the exclusive perspective predominated in the English-language articles. Major differences between languages were observed for overall use and for statements of results, comparison of current and previous findings, and metatext. From a cross-disciplinary viewpoint, biomedical research articles exhibited less self-promotion than previously reported for biology. Qualitative analysis revealed that first-person verbs in English were frequently associated with self-promotion whereas English possessives and all exclusive use in Spanish served to attribute responsibility for statements and to harmonise the multiple voices in the polyphonic discourse of biomedical Discussions. The study provides further evidence for cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary diversity in academic and scientific discourse.


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