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Do English and French do it differently? Comparing mode and genre in scientific discourse

Abstract : This study presents a doubly contrastive description of grammatical intricacy, lexical density and a function-oriented interpretation of verbs (i) in oral and written communication and (ii) in French and English scientific discourse. Although oral and written communication modes have been examined from a variety of angles (cf. Biber, 2006), relatively few studies have combined language and genre comparisons (see however, Fløttum et al 2006; Suomela-Salmi & Dervin, 2009; Rodríguez-Vergara, 2015). Our presentation further explores these contrastive crossroads, by highlighting mode similarities and differences in a corpus of scientific conference presentations and research articles in our two chosen languages. Michael Halliday's 1994 article will be used as a point of reference for our presentation, in which grammatical intricacy and lexical density are explored among other competing differences in spoken and written modes. Our results indicate that, despite using data which were freely fabricated for the intents of the 1994 study, most of Halliday's claims hold true in our sample corpus of scientific English. However, there are noticeable variations in the sample corpus of scientific French.
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Contributor : Médiathèque Télécom Sudparis & Institut Mines-Télécom Business School <>
Submitted on : Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 1:41:56 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 2:42:06 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-02374165, version 1


Clive E. Hamilton, Shirley Carter-Thomas. Do English and French do it differently? Comparing mode and genre in scientific discourse. ESFLC 2017 : 27th European Systemic Functional Linguistics Conference, Jun 2017, Salamanque, Spain. ⟨hal-02374165⟩



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