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ERIC Number: EJ1069321
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1041-679X
Hedging, Inflating, and Persuading in L2 Academic Writing
Hinkel, Eli
Applied Language Learning, v15 p29-53 2005
This study analyzes the types and frequencies of hedges and intensifiers employed in NS and NNS academic essays included in a corpus of L1 and L2 student academic texts (745 essays/220,747 words). The overarching goal of this investigation is to focus on these lexical and syntactic features of written discourse because they effectively lend themselves to instruction in L2 academic writing courses. The research discussed in this paper compares the NS and NNS frequencies of uses of various types of hedging devices and intensifiers in written academic prose: epistemic hedges ("normally", "relatively"), lexical hedges ("more or less", "most"), possibility hedges ("in case", "hopefully"), down toners ("a bit", "simply"), assertive pronouns ("anyone", "somebody"), and adverbs of frequency ("frequently", "usually"). In addition, the analysis also includes intensifiers, such as universal and negative pronouns ("all", "nothing"), amplifiers ("a lot", "forever"), and emphatics ("extreme/-ly/", "total/-ly/"). A detailed examination of median frequency rates of hedges and intensifiers in NS and NNS academic essays point to the fact that L2 writers employ a severely limited range of hedging devices, largely associated with conversational discourse and casual spoken interactions. These findings are further supported by a prevalence of conversational intensifiers and overstatements that are ubiquitous in informal speech but are rare in formal written prose.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A