A Cross-disciplinary Investigation of Textual Metadiscourse Markers in Academic Writing

Ebtisam Saleh Aluthman


This paper is a cross-disciplinary investigation of textual metadiscourse markers (TMDMs) in the British Academic Written English (BAWE) corpus. To this end, corpus analysis tools are utilized to investigate the density of each category of TMDMs and the distribution of these categories across BAWE academic divisions. The premise under the investigation in this study is that metadiscourse is a social interaction that facilitates knowledge communication between writers and their targeted readers. Within the framework of Hyland' s (2000, 2005) claim of disciplinary discourse, this study shows a correlational relation between the use and frequency of different TMDMs across academic disciplines. The quantitative results indicate that the use of transitions outnumbered all other TMDMs in the four BAWE academic divisions, accounting for almost 76.76% of the total occurrences of TMDMs. The results also indicate a greater tendency to use endophoric markers in the physical sciences whereas the social sciences and arts and humanities exhibit larger quantities of evidentials and code glosses. The results are interpreted in terms of the epistemological nature of the academic divisions as well as the target readership.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v10i2.12916

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