The rhetorical role of “collocational chains” and their implications in the building of discourse strategies within specific genres

Abstract : The creation of a persuasive scientific text involves a combination of innovation and conformity, meeting the requirements of the genre and the expectations of the discourse community. This is based on an array of rhetorical choices and linguistic features, one of which has been particularly well researched in recent years: recurrent co-occurrences or ‘collocations’. The author’s study aims at determining to what extent these patterns and their variations contribute to the creation of a persuasive scientific discourse. The types of combinations between general scientific and specialised terms are studied so as to understand their role in the rhetorical progression of the text. The corpus includes PhD abstracts from two fields that were written in English by native and non-native speakers. The analysis provides evidence that each corpus highlights specific disciplinary strategies based on the use of textual collocational variations, or ‘collocational chains’. While building textual cohesion, these chains contribute to the perception of the text as both coherent and persuasive. However, they do not appear to be mastered equally by native and non-native speakers.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 10:37:55 AM
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Geneviève Bordet. The rhetorical role of “collocational chains” and their implications in the building of discourse strategies within specific genres. European Journal of English Studies, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2013, Special issue: “The Rhetoric of Science”, 17 (3), pp.235-250. ⟨10.1080/13825577.2013.867183⟩. ⟨hal-01218416⟩

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