Arabic and English abstracts in bilingual language science journals
Same or different?
Although Arabic is a language with a long scholarly tradition, relatively little is known about the rhetorical and linguistic features of contemporary Arabic prose. In this paper, we examine 28 Arabic and English paired abstracts dealing with the language sciences drawn from three journals. The analysis shows in both sub-corpora little use of first person pronouns or promotional elements, and the move structures tended to be simple, often only background→ findings. Differences between the two languages included greater use of rhetorical and metaphorical flourishes in some Arabic texts and increased attention to background knowledge in some of the English ones. These findings may be related to certain scholastic traditions in the Arab World and to the fact that Arab humanities journals have only recently required articles to be accompanied by abstracts.
Keywords: discourse analysis, academic discourse, contrastive discourse, research article abstract, Arabic/English
Published online: 04 April 2011
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