Mapping Stance Adverbials in Pakistani Academic Discourse: A Corpus Based Interdisciplinary Study
Author(s) : Musarrat Azhar & Asim Mehmood
The present research reports a study on how Pakistani university students project their feelings and assessments into research dissertations through the use of stance adverbials. Based on a special purpose corpus developed with 235 research dissertations of M.Phil and PhD graduates, the present research follows Biber’s (1999) framework of stance adverbials (epistemic adverbials, attitudinal adverbials, style adverbials) and explores disciplinary variation on the use of stance adverbials in Pakistani academic writing. The corpus is divided into three sub-categories of academic disciplines: Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences and is tagged for adverbials expressing stance to measure the frequency count of each stance adverbial marker out of 1000 words. The frequencies of stance adverbial markers are separately calculated for each discipline and one way ANOVA is administered. Statistically significant differences among disciplines on the use of stance adverbials. The findings reveal that there are statistically significant differences among disciplines on the use of stance adverbials and that humanities and social sciences are more inclined towards the stance expression as compared to sciences. The findings will help inform student writers and supervisors about the use of stance markers and presenting opinion based discourse in thesis writing.
Keywords: stance adverbials, disciplinary variation, Pakistani academic discourse