Evaluative language in medical discourse
A contrastive study between English and Spanish university lectures
Academic spoken discourse has been a dominant issue for discourse studies researchers for the last 25 years or so. Different spoken academic genres have been analysed (Swales, 1990, 2004; Berkenkotter and Huckin, 1995; Bhatia, 2001, 2002; Mauranen, 2001; Juzwik, 2004; Crawford-Camiciottoli, 2004, 2007; among others) thanks to the compilation and the easy access to electronic spoken corpora. This study focuses on the genre of lecture as “the central ritual of the culture of learning” (Benson, 1994) in higher education. Here, I analyse the use of evaluative language in medical discourse lectures. A contrastive study between Spanish and English medical lectures is carried out. To my knowledge, little attention has been paid to the analysis of evaluative language in medical discourse. The present study employs a quantitative and a qualitative approach to analyse four Spanish and English medical discourse lectures with an average of 35,000 words. The English lectures have been taken from the Michigan Corpus of Academic and Spoken English (MICASE) and the Spanish lectures have been recorded and transcribed in the Degree in Medicine course at a Spanish university for the purpose of this study. Corpus analysis tools have been used to analyse attitudinal language expressing explicit evaluation. The findings show similarities and also differences in the use of evaluative markers in academic medical discourse.
Keywords: medical discourse, evaluative language, audience-oriented relevance markers, spoken academic English, English / Spanish
Published online: 28 November 2017
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