Influence of collocational variations on making the PhD abstract an effective “would-be insider” self-promotional tool

Abstract : Abstracts have attracted the attention of researchers in EAP mainly due to their “gatekeeping” role in the academic research field. Far from being the mere summary of a research, they offer the opportunity for the writer to get his/her voice heard. More specifically, PhD abstracts provide invaluable insight into newcomers’ vision of the targeted community’s discursive expectations. In this paper, the focus is set on linguistic devices used to build efficient “ambassadors” of a new academic voice. My hypothesis is that one particularly effective device is the use of “collocational chains”, based on reiteration and collocational variations across the text. These chains focus the reader’s attention on the key concepts and guide it through the text and across the moves. A combined corpus and text approach was applied to a corpus comprised of 60 PhD abstracts, written in English for Didactics of mathematics and Materials Science, by English native and non-native (French) writers. Texts were marked for moves and collocational chains. Chains’ pivotal terms were studied at corpus level, while the structuring role of the collocational chains was examined at text level. Collected data were contrasted, so as to better understand characteristic discursive strategies for each discipline, as well as the influence of linguistic origin.
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https://hal-univ-diderot.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01218205
Contributor : Geneviève Bordet <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 5:42:56 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 4, 2019 - 5:33:30 PM

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Geneviève Bordet. Influence of collocational variations on making the PhD abstract an effective “would-be insider” self-promotional tool. Sanz, Rosa Lores; Bondi, Marina. Abstracts in academic discourse: variation and change, ⟨Peter Lang⟩, pp.131-160, 2014, 978-3-0343-1483-1. ⟨hal-01218205⟩

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