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Genre Variation and Changes in Frame Sequences Across Cultures: The Case of Criminology RA Abstracts in English and French



Though not as widely studied as the Research Article (RA), the abstract has attracted increasing interest among researchers over last decades (Swales 1990, Bhatia 1993, Dos Santos 1996, Lorés-Sanz 2008, Bondi/Cavalieri 2012, Cavalieri 2014). A number of contrastive or comparative studies of abstracts in English and other languages (Martín-Martín 2005, Lorés Sanz 2006, Van Bonn & Swales 2007, Diani 2014) have already been carried out considering mainly the hard sciences and some soft sciences such as linguistics and history, however no cross-cultural analyses have been conducted so far between RA abstracts in English and RA abstracts in French published in the legal field.

This paper seeks to investigate genre variation and changes in frame sequences comparatively in English and French RA abstracts from criminology journals.

Using a genre analytical approach to qualitative and quantitative data, the paper reports on two comparable corpora, i.e. English and French, of electronically retrieved abstracts from Criminology Journals published in 2014. The two corpora are composed of three journals per language, namely Criminology, Journal of Criminal Justice, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology for the English corpus, and Champ Pénal, Criminologie, Revue Canadienne de Droit Pénal et Criminologie for the French corpus. The analysis will be carried out following two main steps, i.e. a macro-analysis and a micro-analysis. In the former step, the corpora are compared by the analysis and discussion of the basic IMRD rhetorical move structure for the RA often proposed in the literature (e.g. Nwogu 1990; Swales 1990; Bhatia 1993; Ventola 1994; Martín-Martín 2002) and the additional five moves model postulated by Dos Santos (1996) with the aim of investigating the linguistic and rhetorical variation in the abstract genre from a cross-cultural perspective. In the latter, we look at frame sequences (Bondi/Cavalieri 2012) combining forms of self-mentions and frame markers (Hyland 2005), i.e. personal patterns (e.g. we argue / nous questionnons), impersonal patterns (e.g. it is argued / il est question) and locational patterns (e.g. the paper argues / l’article questionne) (Dahl 2004). Provisional results show that the abstracts under investigation largely follow the international conventions based on the norms established by the English-speaking international academic community. However, variation across the two cultures emerged from the linguistic realizations of framework sequences. Cross-cultural implications are discussed at the close.

Frequenza di pubblicazione:
4 volte all'anno
Argomenti della rivista:
Philosophy, other