Although research on evaluation in academic writing has profited from developments in contrastive linguistics since the late 1980s, very little empirical research has been conducted with respect to questions in contrastive studies. The aim of this study is to investigate the functions of questions as a means of reader engagement in academic research articles in English and French in the discipline of linguistics. To do this, a corpus-based contrastive analysis of two subcorpora of KIAP (Fløttum et al. 2006) is conducted. The English and French subcorpora are assessed using Hyland’s model of stance and reader engagement in terms of questions and their seven functions as evaluative markers of reader engagement (2002; 2005b), including their form and distribution within the text. This analysis focuses on two particular functions of questions, namely ‘framing the discourse’ and ‘organising the text’. The results suggest that, although there is some degree of homogeneity in the use of questions in terms of function, form and distribution, there is also evidence of important differences between the two languages. These findings illustrate some distinctions in writing in these two discourse communities and their potential for informing language pedagogy in both English for academic purposes and Français langue académique.
Bibliographical noteThe final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41701-017-0012-0
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- Contrastive linguistics
- Comparable corpora
- English academic writing
- French academic writing
- Reader engagement