Interrogatives in English and Serbian academic discourse – a contrastive pragmatic approach

Title: Interrogatives in English and Serbian academic discourse – a contrastive pragmatic approach
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2012, vol. 38, iss. 2, pp. [17]-35
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

The paper presents the results of a corpus-based contrastive study of interrogatives in written academic discourse in English and Serbian. Three corpora were analyzed (articles written by English and Serbian authors in their mother tongues, and by Serbian writers in English) in order to establish the distribution and functions of interrogatives, with the special emphasis on possible transferring of writing habits from the authors' native written culture to the Anglo-American one. The analyzed academic articles come from various social and hard sciences, in order both to establish cross-disciplinary variations and, more importantly, to depict some culture-based preferences in the use of interrogatives. Being rarely used as the request for information in academic articles, the interrogatives are viewed as indirect speech acts performing various interpersonal functions, such as drawing the readers' attention to a specific idea or result, announcing or giving comments on the proposition material, or establishing contact with the reader.
[1] Ädel, Annelie (2006) Metadiscourse in L1 nad L2 English. London: John Benjamins.

[2] Austin, John (1962) How to do Things with Words, Oxford: OUP.

[3] Bach, Kent (1998) 'Speech acts'. In: Craig, Edward (ed.) Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge, 81–87. Accessed in May 2009 at

[4] Biber, Douglas, Stig Johansson, Geoffrey Leech, Susan Conrad and Edward Finegan (1999) Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman.

[5] Blagojević, Savka (2004) 'Cross-cultural Differences in Academic Writing'. In: Conference Proceedings 'Culture Encounters', Novi Sad: Faculty of Philosophy, 91–99.

[6] Blagojević, Savka (2007) 'The Use of Metadiscourse in Research Articles Written by English and Serbian Academics'. In: Language for Specific Purposes – Conference Proceedings, Podgorica: Institut za strane jezike, 17–23.

[7] Blagojević, Savka (2008) Metadiskurs u akademskom diskursu. Niš: Filozofski fakultet.

[8] Booth, W.C. (1961) The Rhetoric of fiction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

[9] Carter, Ronald and Michael McCarthy (2006) Cambridge Grammar of English: A Comprehensive Guide to Spoken and Written English Grammar and Usage. Cambridge: CUP.

[10] Chamonikolasová, Jana (2005) 'Comparing the structures of texts written in English and Czech'. In: Slovak Studies in English I (Conference Proceedings), Bratislava: Univerzita Komenského, 77–84.

[11] Chang, Yu-Ying and John Swales (1999) 'Informal elements in English academic writing: threats or opportunities for advanced non-native speakers'. In: Candlin, Christopher and Ken Hyland (eds.) Writing: Texts, Processes and Practices, London: Longman, 145–167.

[12] Clyne, Michael (1987) 'Cultural differences in the organization of academic texts: English and German.' Journal of Pragmatics 11, 211–247. | DOI 10.1016/0378-2166(87)90196-2

[13] Clyne, Michael (1988) 'Community languages and language policy.' In: Jupp, James (ed.) The Australian People. Angus and Robertson, 893 – 898.

[14] Connor, Ulla (1996) Contrastive Rhetoric: Cross-cultural Aspects of Second-language Writing. Cambridge: CUP.

[15] Crismore, Avon and Rodney Farnswarth (1990) 'Metadiscourse in Popular and Professional Science Discourse'. In: Nash, Walter (ed.) The Writing Scolar: Studies in the Language and Conventions of Academic Discourse, Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 118–136.

[16] Crismore, Avon, Raija Markkanen and Margaret S. Steffensen (1990) 'Metadiscourse in Persuasive Writing: A Study of Texts Written by American and Finnish University Students'. Written Communication 10 (1), 39–69.

[17] Čmejrková, Světla (1996) 'Academic Writing in Czech and English'. In: Ventola, Eija and Anna Mauranen (eds.) Academic Writing: Introduction and Textual Issues, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 137–145.

[18] Čmejrková, Světla (2007) 'Intercultural Dialogue and Academic Discourse'. In: Grein, Marion and Edda Weigand (eds.) Dialogue and Culture, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 73–94.

[19] Dontcheva-Navratilova, Olga (2008) 'Interaction in Academic discourse: communicative strategies for the expression of stance'. In: Tomášková, Renáta, Sirma Wilamová and Christopher Hopkinson (eds.) Ends and Means in Language: Communication and Textual Strategies in Mass Media, Commercial and Academic Discourse. Proceedings from a Conference. Ostrava: Universitas Ostraviensis, 14–18.

[20] Frank, Jane (1990) 'You call that a rhetorical question? : Forms and functions of rhetorical questions in conversation'. Journal of Pragmatics 14 (5), 723–738. | DOI 10.1016/0378-2166(90)90003-V

[21] Han, Chung-hye (2002) 'Interpreting interrogatives as rhetorical questions'. Lingua 112 (3), 201–229. | DOI 10.1016/S0024-3841(01)00044-4

[22] Heritage, John (2002) 'The limits of questioning: negative interrogatives and hostile question content'. Journal of Pragmatics 34 (10-11), 1427–1446.

[23] Huddleston, Rodney and Geoffrey Pullum (2002) The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: CUP.

[24] Hyland, Ken (2001) 'Bringing in the Reader: Addressee Features in Academic Articles'. Written Communication 18 (4), 549–574. | DOI 10.1177/0741088301018004005

[25] Hyland, Ken (2002a) 'What do they mean? Questions in academic writing'. Text – Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse 22 (4), 529–557.

[26] Hyland, Ken (2002b) 'Directives: Argument and Engagement in Academic Writing'. Applied Linguistics 23 (2), 215–239. | DOI 10.1093/applin/23.2.215

[27] Hyland Ken (2004) 'Patterns of engagement: dialogue features and L2 undergraduate writing'. In: Ravelli, Louise and Robert Ellis (eds.) Analyzing Academic Writing: Contextualized Frameworks. London: Continuum, 5–23.

[28] Hyland, Ken (2005a) Metadiscourse: exploring interaction in writing. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

[29] Hyland, Ken (2005b) 'Stance and engagement: a model of interaction in academic discourse'. Discourse Studies 7 (2), 173–192. | DOI 10.1177/1461445605050365

[30] Hyland, Ken (2008) 'Persuasion, Interaction and the Construction of Knowledge: Representing Self and Others in Research Writing'. International Journal of English Studies 8 (2), 1–23.

[31] 'Hyper grammar, writing center'. Accessed on July 10th, 2010 at

[32] Levinson, Steven (1983) Pragmatics. Cambridge: CUP.

[33] Mauranen, Anna (1993) Cultural Differences in Academic Rhetoric: A text-linguistic study. Frankfurt am Main: Petr Lang.

[34] Mur-Dueñas, Pilar (2010) 'Attitude markers in business management research articles: A cross cultural corpus-driven approach'. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 19, 50–72.

[35] Mwansoko H. J. M. (2003) 'Swahili in Academic Writing'. Nordic Journal of African Studies 12 (3), 265–276.

[36] Nash, W. (1992) An Uncommon Tongue. London and New York: Routledge.

[37] Povolná, Renata (2010) 'Can non-native speakers of English use contrastive discourse markers correctly when writing academic texts?' In: Malá, Markéta and Pavlina Šaldová (eds) ... For Thy Speech Bewrayeth Thee. A Festschrift for Libuše Dušková. Praha: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, 209–231.

[38] Sadock, Jerold (1995) 'Towards a Typology of Speech Acts'. In: Tsohatzidis, Savas (ed.) Foundations of Speech Act Theory, London: Routledge, 393–406.

[39] Sadock, Jerold (2004) 'Speech Acts'. In: Horn, Laurence and Gregory Ward (eds.) Handbook of Pragmatics, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 53–73.

[40] Searle, John (1969) Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge: CUP.

[41] 'Study skills: Rhetorical questions, Warwick: Centre for Lifelong Learning'. Accessed on July 10th 2010 at: http:/

[42] Stašková, Jaroslava (2004) 'Options of identity: Authorial presence in research articles abstracts'. In: Slovak Studies in English 1. Bratislava: Univerzita Komenského, 201–207.

[43] Vande Kopple, William J. (1981) 'Experiments on the Readability of Natural Expository Paragraphs with Identical or Related Sentence Topics' microform]

[44] Vande Kopple, William J. (1985) 'Some exploratory discourse on metadiscourse'. College Composition and Communication 36, 82–93. | DOI 10.2307/357609

[45] Webber, Pauline (1994) 'The functions of questions in different medical journal genres'. English for Special Purposes 13 (3), 257–268. | DOI 10.1016/0889-4906(94)90005-1

[46] Williams, J.M. (1985) Style: Ten lessons in clarity and grace. Glenview. IL. Scott, Foresman.

[47] The British Journal of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science, editions from 2000 – 2003.

[48] Culture & Psychology, Sage publications, editions from 1997 – 2002.

[49] Philosophy and Social Criticism, Sage Publications, editions from 2000 – 2005.

[50] Facta Universitatis, Series Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology, University of Niš, editions from 2003 – 2009.

[51] The Sociology of Religion in the Former Yugoslav Republics, Yugoslav Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Niš, editions from 2004 – 2006.

[52] Sociologija, Journal of Sociology, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology, Yugoslav Sociological Association, Belgrade, editions from 1997 – 2001.

[53] Teme, časopis za društvene nauke, [Topics, journal for social sciences], University of Niš, editions from 2003 – 2008.

[54] Sociološki pregled, Sociološko društvo Srbije, [Sociological Review, published by Sociological Society of Serbia], Belgrade, editions from 1998 – 2004

[55] Psihologija, Društvo psihologa Srbije, [Psychology, published by Psychology Association of Serbia], Belgrade, editions from 1999 – 2007.

[56] Analitical chemistry, American Chemical Society, Washington, editions from 1999 – 2005.

[57] European Coal Geology and Technology, Geological Sociaty Special Publication, London, editions from 1998–2003.

[58] Enviromental Pollution, Elsevier Science, Great Britain, editions from 2001 – 2007

[59] Journal of the Serbian Chemical Society, Belgrade, editions from 1998 – 2003

[60] Facta Universitatis, Series Physics, Chemistry and Technology, University of Niš, editions from 2001 – 2006.

[61] Risk Technological Systems and the Enviroment, Proceedings of RISK'97, Fakultet zaštite na radu, [Faculty of Occupational Safety], Niš, 1997.

[62] Hemijski pregled, Srpsko hemijsko društvo, [Chemical Review, published by Serbian Chemistry Society] Belgrade, editions from 1998–2006.

[63] Geološki anali balkanskog društva, [Geological Annals of Balcan Association], Institut za MKPG, editions from 1999 – 2004.

[64] Ecologica, Naučno-stručno društvo za zaštitu životne sredine Srbije, editions from 2001 – 2008.