The metadiscourse of Arabic academic abstracts: A corpus-based study
Research on metadiscourse and rhetorical features in modern Arabic academic writing is scarce both in quantity and in scope. Abstracts, in particular, are a severely understudied academic register. This study aims to fill a gap in the study of academic abstracts in Arabic by providing a more comprehensive analysis of metadiscourse in Arabic academic abstracts. The data for the study includes a corpus of 400 Arabic abstracts, which have been labeled according to two variables: (a) abstract type (journal or dissertation); and (b) author gender (male, female, mixed gender). The analysis follows the theoretical framework proposed by Hyland (2019), as the data has been annotated for both textual metadiscourse (transition markers, frame markers, evidentials, endophorics and code glosses) and interpersonal metadiscourse (hedges, boosters, attitude markers, engagement markers and self-mentions). Results show that Arabic academic abstracts are rich in both types of metadiscourse features. Transition and frame markers have the highest frequency in the textual domain, while boosters and self-mentions are highly frequent in the interpersonal domain. Endophoric markers and hedges are the least used types of metadiscourse in the data, but engagement markers are surprisingly more frequent than previously thought.
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