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Relations of Power and Solidarity in Scientific Communities: A Cross-cultural Comparison of Politeness Strategies in the Writing of Native English Speaking and Greek Engineers.

Relations of Power and Solidarity in Scientific Communities: A Cross-cultural Comparison of Politeness Strategies in the Writing of Native English Speaking and Greek Engineers

D. Koutsantoni. 2004. Multilingua 3:111-143.

This study analyzed politeness strategies used in Greek- and English-speaking engineering communities. Writing samples from 33 electrical and chemical engineering students were examined. Two politeness strategies used in these samples were analyzed: hedging, or the toning down of claims, and the emphatic assertion of claims, accomplished with markers of certainty and authoritative stance. The results of the study indicate that native speakers of English (NSE) writers were tentative and used more hedges than emphatic techniques. The native speakers of Greek (NSG) who wrote in Greek were authoritative and used more emphatic techniques than hedges. The NSG who wrote in English used about the same number of hedges and emphatic techniques. They were influenced by their cultural background, yet they attempted to conform to the conventions of the English-speaking scientific community. The results of the study indicate that cultural background influences the politeness strategies that people employ in scientific writing.

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Title Annotation:SCIENTIFIC WRITING
Author:Kepler, Kelley
Publication:Technical Communication
Date:Aug 1, 2005
Words:179
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