Question illocutionary force indicating devices in academic writing

A corpus-pragmatic and contrastive approach to identifying and analysing direct

and indirect questions in English, French, and Spanish

Niall Curry, CAW / CAMC

Weds 7 October 2020 (see below for recording)

Corpus research on questions as reader engagement markers in academic writing typically focuses on direct questions. Such questions are signalled by question marks and are thus relatively easy to retrieve from a corpus. However, indirect questions can be more challenging to identify in a corpus, as they can be introduced by a range of forms. Based on a corpus-based contrastive analysis of a corpus of English, French, and Spanish economics research articles, this talk discusses direct and indirect questions as reader engagement markers. Firstly, it shows that direct and indirect questions as reader engagement markers are a rhetorical and generic feature of academic writing in academic writing in the economics research article. Secondly, it presents a comprehensive list of indirect question illocutionary force indicating devices, valuable for future studies of indirect questions. Methodologically, this talk also illustrates a replicable process for functional analysis and discusses the value of theoretically merging corpus and contrastive linguistic approaches.

Recording of the talk can be viewed below. Details of other talks this semester can be found on the Coventry University School of Humanities website.

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