Generic patterns and socio-cultural resources in acknowledgements accompanying Arabic Ph.D. dissertations

Mohammed Nahar Al-Ali

Abstract

Even though the acknowledgement genre is a common practice in Arabic scholarly texts, this area is largely neglected in academic research. The present study examines the generic structure and the linguistic patterns of gratitude expressions used in acknowledegments accompanying the Arabic Ph.D. dissertation genre. To this end, I have analyzed the various rhetorical component options that writers use to convey gratitude and the role played by the socio-cultural factors in shaping this genre in a corpus of 100 Arabic acknowledgements accompanying Ph.D. dissertations in soft sciences written by doctoral Arabic native speakers. A discursive genre analysis reveals that Arab writers tend to use certain socio-cultural specific components that can be seen as contextualization cues bringing about the religious beliefs, and the academic and social conventions of the Arab writers. Further, they tend to utilize certain preferred address forms, and social honorifics together with various gratitude expression options having different degree of intensification to respond to different types of audience and reflect their complex relationships with the academic and social community members.

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