Corpus research on questions as reader engagement markers in academic writing typically focuses on direct questions. Such questions are signalled by question marks and are relatively easily corpus-searchable. However, indirect questions can be more challenging to identify in a corpus, as they can be introduced by a range of forms. Based on a corpus-based contrastive analysis of a corpus of English, French, and Spanish economics research articles, this paper provides pertinent evidence on direct and indirect questions as reader engagement markers. Firstly, it shows that direct and indirect questions as reader engagement markers are a rhetorical and generic feature of academic writing in academic writing in the economics research article and, secondly, it presents a comprehensive list of indirect question illocutionary force indicating devices, valuable for future studies of indirect questions. Methodologically, this paper illustrates a replicable process for functional analysis and discusses the value of theoretically merging corpus and contrastive linguistic approaches.
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- corpus-based contrastive analysis
- Spanish academic writing
- French academic writing
- English academic writing
- illocutionary force indicating device
- function-to-form corpus analysis
- direct questions
- indirect questions
- reader engagement
- academic writing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics