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"What uh the folks who did this survey found": expert attribution in spoken academic lectures
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2008 (English)In: Nordic Journal of English Studies, ISSN 1502-7694, Vol. 7, no 3, 83-102 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Academic writing has been said to display a tension between originality and humility to the community (Myers 1990; Berkenkotter & Huckin 1995; Hyland 1999). One of the fundamental ways in which this tension plays out is in references to previous research, or ‘attribution’. While recent research has emphasized the importance of attribution in academic writing—Hyland (1999), for example, found the average number of citations in research articles to be as high as 70 per 10,000 words—the role of attribution in spoken academic discourse is relatively uncharted territory. In this study of attribution in academic speech, transcripts of 30 large lectures from the Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English (MICASE; Simpson et al. 1999) were analysed, totalling 250,000 words. References to expert sources in the academic domain were analysed, specifically third person attribution (including third person pronouns, proper names, and a selection of nouns), as in “um and, Marx points out that those are the tools that the proletariat are gonna use”. The research questions were: To what degree dolecturers situate intertextually the knowledge and facts they are presenting? Do thedisciplinary differences found in written citation practices also occur in speech? Howvariable are the formal realizations of attribution in speech?Contrary to previous research findings (e.g. Biber 2006; Swales 2005), the studyshowed both that expert attribution is quite pervasive and that there is disciplinaryvariation in academic speech. The findings are compared to studies of attribution inacademic writing (e.g. Hyland 1999; Tadros 1993), with the goal of contributing tocurrent research on the commonalities that academic speech (lectures) exhibits withacademic writing on one hand, and non-academic speech on the other.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Dept. of British and American Studies, University of Oslo , 2008. Vol. 7, no 3, 83-102 p.
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-37299OAI: diva2:298366
Available from: 2010-02-22 Created: 2010-02-22 Last updated: 2011-07-28Bibliographically approved

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Ädel, Annelie
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