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SCIENTIFIC INNOVATION AND THE PHRASEOLOGY OF RHETORIC. POSTURE, REFORMULATION AND COLLOCATION IN CANCER RESEARCH ARTICLES

Abstract : This thesis aims to describe how language is used in hard science, how scientists create new science in their writing and how language functions in extremely specialised circumstances. The thesis describes the working context of cancer research articles at Aston University’s Pharmaceutical sciences department. The thesis attempts to integrate the ethnographic approach of genre analysis (Swales 1990) with the large scale analysis of phraseology in the field of corpus linguistics Sinclair (1987a).  One hypothesis is that new science is actually enacted in research articles by a process of  reformulating concepts within the text. To test this, the scientific claims of a sample of ten texts are analysed in terms of reformulation of grammatical metaphor, discourse signalling and posture (Halliday 1985, Sinclair 1981). A second hypothesis is that new science is founded on a system of preferred expressions, and that collocation is a fundamental mechanism that allows for new formulations to take place throughout the text. A corpus analysis of 150 cancer research articles is undertaken to characterise the phraseology of  grammatical items in research articles and in the various rhetorical sections of research articles namely Titles, Abstracts, Introductions, Methods, Results and Discussion sections. The thesis finds that research articles use language to create new science by reformulating data as research models and by altering the established patterns of phraseology. Collocation is seen to vary systematically in rhetorical sections, and the concept of phraseology is postulated as a preferred way of expressing a delimited set of semantic and communicative roles. The thesis argues that science should not be seen as a body of facts transmitted via language, but as a special linguistic construct, mediated by the mechanisms of textual reformulation and phraseological innovation.
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https://hal-univ-paris.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-03240039
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Submitted on : Monday, May 31, 2021 - 9:31:25 AM
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Christopher Gledhill. SCIENTIFIC INNOVATION AND THE PHRASEOLOGY OF RHETORIC. POSTURE, REFORMULATION AND COLLOCATION IN CANCER RESEARCH ARTICLES. Linguistics. Aston University, 1995. English. ⟨tel-03240039⟩

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