Publication type and discipline variation in published academic writing
Investigating statistical interaction in corpus data
This study uses Multi-Dimensional analysis to describe linguistic variation in a corpus of published academic writing across three publication types in two disciplines. The resulting five dimensions were labeled: “Affective synthesis versus specialized information density”, “Definition and evaluation of new concepts”, “Author-centered stance”, “Reader-friendly narrative”, and “Abstract observation and description”. Factorial ANOVAs were used to test for significant interactions between publication type and discipline on each of the five linguistic dimensions. Statistical interactions were discovered for four of the five dimensions. The appropriate tests for statistical differences, either for main effects or simple effects, were performed, and publication type and discipline patterns were interpreted for all five dimensions. This paper highlights the importance of accounting for all of the independent factors in a corpus, using factorial ANOVAs where appropriate, in order to appropriately analyze and interpret patterns of linguistic variability.
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