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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040070

A Corpus-Based Study on Cross-Cultural Divergence in the Use of Hedges in Academic Research Articles Written by Vietnamese and Native English-Speaking Authors

1
Faculty of Foreign Languages, Vietnam Maritime University, Haiphong 181810, Vietnam
2
Department of English Education, Graduate School, Hanyang University, Seoul 04763, Korea
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract

As an interpersonal meta-discourse device, hedges have a significant role in academic writing, especially in research articles (RAs) of various fields. The use of hedges in academic writing helps writers represent their ideology, opinion, and evaluation of issues, as well as to persuade readers to accept their claims. This study examined the cultural divergence in the use of hedges in the results and discussion sections of RAs written by Vietnamese and native English-speaking authors, analyzing the variation in the frequency and types of hedges within the rhetorical structure of RAs. The study was based on the data of two corpora, which were collected from 100 RAs that were judged by the authors’ names and affiliations in the field of applied linguistics, consisting of 50 RAs that were written by Vietnamese writers (VNRAs) and published in Vietnamese national journals, and 50 RAs that were written by native English-speaking authors (NESRAs) and published in international journals. Contrastive analysis of the frequency and types of hedges used in RAs written by Vietnamese and native English-speaking authors revealed that there were variations and similarities in the way they utilized hedges as interpersonal meta-discourse devices to guide, negotiate, and persuade readers to accept their assertions and viewpoint, and in the way the negative politeness strategy was used to respect the readership and give more room for the readers’ alternative interpretations. The difference between the VNRA and NESRA corpora was in the frequency of the occurrence of hedges, which was relatively lower in the RAs written by Vietnamese authors. The reason for this divergence could be due to the culturally diverse backgrounds, the intended readers, and the conventional rules of two discourse communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: hedges; meta-discourse; interpersonal meta-discourse; cross-cultural divergence; research articles hedges; meta-discourse; interpersonal meta-discourse; cross-cultural divergence; research articles
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Nguyen Thi Thuy, T. A Corpus-Based Study on Cross-Cultural Divergence in the Use of Hedges in Academic Research Articles Written by Vietnamese and Native English-Speaking Authors. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 70.

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