With regard to L2 academic writing: the use of topicalisers in L1 (English and Spanish) and L2 (English) research articles

Source document: Brno studies in English. 2013, vol. 38, iss. 2, pp. [117]-130
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
License: Not specified license
A great deal of cross-cultural research has shown remarkable differences between the written discursive practices of academic disciplinary members using English for international communication and members using other languages for local communication. Less research has been carried out, however, on the possible transfer of non-native scholars' writing practices from their native language into English when drafting their academic texts for an international audience. It is the aim of this paper to contribute to intercultural rhetoric by taking the latter approach. It will look into the use made of a particular cohesive device, topicalisers (i.e. linguistic signals that writers include in the text to organise the discourse, bringing about, changing or re-taking a topic), in Business Management research articles written in L1 (English and Spanish) and L2 (English) research articles. The analysis focuses on the frequency, distribution and choice of topicalisers. Results reveal significant differences in the use of topicalisers in L1 and L2 English research articles, which gives way to a different discourse flow and organisation of information. In the light of the results obtained, the different use of topicalisers made in L2 English texts could be interpreted as a discursive transfer of Spanish scholars' writing conventions in their L1.1
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