Creating the Authorial Self in Academic Texts: Evidence From the Expert’s Style of Writing
This paper reports on an analysis of stance expressions in a 439,490-word corpus of Ken Hyland’s academic prose, encompassing 64 single-authored texts from journals, edited collections and his own monographs. Using WordSmith Tools 6.0, the study aims to find out how this expert academic writer creates his authorial self through stance mechanisms. The results reveal that Hyland’s authorial participation in his discourse is mostly manifested through hedges, somewhat less definitely through boosters, but relatively infrequently by attitude markers and self-mention. The choice of the specific stance devices indicates a preference for detached objectivity when formulating empirically verifiable propositions and a shift towards subjectivity when referring to discourse acts and research methodology. These findings contribute to our understanding of stance-taking expertise in applied linguistics and may thus assist novice writers in the field in a more effective management of their own performance of self in academic prose.
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