Item Details

Self-mention and authorial identity construction in English and Chinese research articles: A contrastive study

Issue: Vol 10 No. 2 (2014)

Journal: Linguistics and the Human Sciences

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/lhs.v10i2.28557


Self-mention is a powerful rhetorical strategy for constructing authorial identity in research articles. This study proposes that researchers’ authorial identity can be considered in three aspects according to the self-mention devices they employ: the detached self, the individual self and the collective self. Based on a corpus comprising 90 research articles (45 in English and 45 in Chinese), the research explores the construction of authorial identity in English and Chinese research articles by examining the frequency of and roles performed by self-mention markers. Results show that both English and Chinese writers try to display their detached self by distancing themselves from the text and reader. But English writers are more ready to present the individual self by taking on the role of discourse constructor, arguer and evaluator, whereas Chinese writers are inclined to show their collective self and take on the role of researcher. The research results have implications for research article writing and the teaching of research article writing.

Author: Geqi Wu, Yongsheng Zhu

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