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A Cross-linguistic Study of Metadiscourse Markers in English Academic Writing of Saudi EFL Students and UK Native Speakers of English – Nasser Alqahtani

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Abstracts page

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Difficulties:

1) This study looks at functions of MD markers in a clause, which functions of the 4 basic clause constituents (subject, predicate, complement, adjunct) they are serving. For example, the study suggests that….

Here, suggest is a predicate and this instance is clear. However, other markers are quite problematic as some of them like attributive adjectives do not usually serve any of the 4 basic functions of the clause by themselves. For example,

because the most influencial studies are presented in chapter 2.

Influencial here has no main functions of clause constituents itself and it occurred in an adjunct clause, but we cannot classify it as an adjunct because it is not an adjunct. So, to code it, we decided to look at the immediate function of the marker in the clause where it occurs regardless of the clause as a whole. If the marker has no immediate function as clause constituents itself, then we look at in which part of the clause it occurred and classify it as part of that clause constituent. Influential is functioning as part of the subject but not a subject, so we classified it as part of the clause subject as it modifies the head noun.

This is our approach to such instances, but I would like to ask you kindly if you could suggest any alternatives to deal with this or maybe to comment on it.

2) We have not yet started our qualitative analysis, what would you kindly suggest we analyse qualitatively or do for it? Maybe for example, we could qualitatively analyse the 10 most frequent markers in each category i.e. how they are used at specific points in the text across the corpora and how they are rhetorically functioning