Mikolaychik M.V. Lexical Hedging in English Abstracts of Russian Economics Research Articles: А Corpus-Based Study

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2020.5.4

Margarita V. Mikolaychik

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages No. 3, V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University

Prosp. Akademika Vernadskogo, 4, 295007 Simferopol, Russia

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Abstract. An important area of academic English competence, the use of hedges in various regional varieties of English, has been the subject of numerous cross-cultural studies worldwide. However, hedging in the Russian variety of English as an academic lingua franca remains largely under-researched. This paper reports the results of a corpus-based study of lexical hedges in English abstracts of 200 Russian research articles published over the past few years in the leading national Journals of Economics. The data obtained in this research are compared to the findings of an earlier similarly designed study of British and American abstracts, shedding light on the peculiarities of lexical hedging use by Russian authors. Quantitative corpus linguistics methods are used, notably statistical analysis of corpus frequency data based on Dunning's log-likelihood test. Our analysis shows that although Russian economics research writers employ quite a wide range of lexical hedging devices – largely over 70% – coinciding with those used by native English writers, they use most categories of lexical hedges (modal verbs, adverbials, quantifiers and full verbs) less frequently while employing hedging nouns more frequently than their British and American counterparts. The findings can be useful for further research into hedging in the abstracts of scientific articles on other disciplines as well as for teaching English research abstract writing to Russian speakers.

Key words: scholarly discourse, academic discourse, academic lingua franca, corpus, hedge, hedging.

Citation. Mikolaychik M.V. Lexical Hedging in English Abstracts of Russian Research Articles on Economics: A Corpus-Based Study. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2020, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 38-47. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2020.5.4

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