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Anaphoric demonstratives in student academic writing: A cross-disciplinary study of (un)attended this and these
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, English.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Cohesive devices such as anaphoric reference play an important role in written discourse. This thesis investigates the extent to which the anaphoric demonstratives this and these are used as determiners (‘attended’) or pronouns (‘unattended’) by first-year undergraduate students from four different academic disciplines. Data extracted from the British Academic Written English (BAWE) corpus were analysed quantitatively to determine the frequency of use of attended and unattended this/these across disciplines, as well as qualitatively to examine the types of nominal and verbal structures that follow the demonstratives. When compared to findings from previous studies, novice student writers were found to employ this/these as pronouns to a larger extent than both students at a more advanced level and research article writers. It was also observed that the determiners this and these pattern differently, selecting distinct attending nouns to a great extent. In addition, comparison of the results for each subcorpus shows that even though there are some differences between the four disciplines, these differences are not as great as might be expected and do not indicate a clear distinction between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ sciences. While the influence of genre has not been scrutinised, other possible explanations proposed relate to the educational context and level of study in association with the range of lexical choices available to novice student writers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
cohesion, demonstratives, anaphoric reference, disciplinary variation, student writing
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URN: urn:nbn:se:du-30220OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-30220DiVA, id: diva2:1324306
Available from: 2019-06-13 Created: 2019-06-13

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf