‘Author (date)’ constructions in academic discourse
This article elucidates the semantics and pragmatics of a genre-specific nominal pattern with a definite referring function, the ‘Author (date)’ construction, which is widely used in scientific discourse. We investigate the conceptual structure and pragmatic use of this construction in terms of conceptual metonymy and conceptual metaphor theory. The construction exhibits three senses: a literal ‘author’, a metonymic ‘work’, and a metaphorized ‘human agent’ sense (personification). Contextual factors that enable, coerce, or preempt the occurrence of these meanings are identified by means of various grammatical and semantic-pragmatic parameters, such as number agreement, anaphoric constraints, and the meaning of verbs collocating with the construction. Finally, the implications of our theoretical findings for the teaching and learning of academic discourse are considered. Keywords: conceptual metonymy; conceptual metaphor; genre-specific construction; personification; teaching and learning of academic discourse
Published online: 03 November 2014
Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA): http://corpus.byu.edu/coca.
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