AbstractThis paper aims at quantitatively and qualitatively analyzing the use and distribution of informality features in a comparable corpus of research articles (rAs) written by L1 Chinese scholars (Css) and L1 English scholars (Ess) across four disciplines. The normalized frequencies of eleven informal features were calculated and compared first between Ess’ and Css’ rAs in the same discipline and then across the four disciplines. Four features, namely first person pronouns, pronominal anaphoric reference, sentence-initial conjunctions/conjunctive adverbs, and imperatives, were identified to be the contributing factors and analyzed qualitatively. The results demonstrate that: (i) there is significant difference in the use of informality features between Ess and Css with Css employing informality features less frequently than Ess; (ii) disciplinary variations are present with Physics rAs sounding more informal and Linguistics rAs more formal; (iii) the distribution of specific informality features presents a diversified picture: Css’ use of first person pronouns and pronominal anaphoric references is less frequent, and their use of imperatives and sentence-initial conjunctions/conjunctive adverbs is more frequent than Ess’. These findings shed light on teaching academic writing and provide writers with some guidance about stylistic choice
Copyright (c) 2020 Gao Xia
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