Stebletsova A.O., Torubarova I.I. Formality as a Style-Forming Property of Academic English: Synchronic Analysis of Medical Research Texts

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2019.4.12

Anna O. Stebletsova

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Foreign Languages, Voronezh N.N. Burdenko State Medical University

Studencheskaya St., 10, 394036 Voronezh, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4682-4887

Irina I. Torubarova

Senior Lecturer, Department of Foreign Languages, Voronezh N.N. Burdenko State Medical University

Studencheskaya St., 10, 394036 Voronezh, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6712-1865


Abstract. The paper discusses academic formality as a basic linguistic and stylistic property which indicates academic discourse. The objective of the research is to identify specific features and means of formality representation in medical discourse. The material of the research includes a corpus comprised of fifteen authentic open – access research articles published in European Journal of Epidemiology in 2019. The texts of the articles were processed within the framework of descriptive linguistic analysis. The quantitative analysis and statistic processing was performed with Compleat Lexical Tutor v.8.3. The results of the research have revealed lexical, syntactical, grammatical and stylistic means of formality representation in medical research texts. The lexical diversity coefficient ranges from 0.22 to 2.27, which demonstrates a high level of vocabulary complexity and a relatively low level of vocabulary diversity. The high level of lexical density is acquired by a frequent use of noun groups, nominalization and medical terminology including abbreviations and acronyms. Stylistic repetitions of vocabulary and syntactic structures are registered on all texts of the research corpus. Along with a widespread use of passive and impersonal structures the texts of the research have demonstrated a tendency to use subjective language (we / our pronouns) for an author stance. The authors have made a conclusion that this might be an indication of a shift towards simplicity and ersonification in academic formality representation.

Key words: formality, Academic English, medical research text, lexical diversity, lexical density, abbreviation, acronym, stylistic repetition.

Citation. Stebletsova A.O., Torubarova I.I. Formality as a Style-Forming Property of Academic English: Synchronic Analysis of Medical Research Texts. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2019, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 157-173. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2019.4.12

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Formality as a Style-Forming Property of Academic English: Synchronic Analysis of Medical Research Texts by Stebletsova A.O., Torubarova I.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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