Authorial identity of non-native writers of academic english in the ‘soft sciences’an analysis of textographies and interactional resources

  1. Pérez Penup, Lorena Beatriz
Supervised by:
  1. Izaskun Elorza Director

Defence university: Universidad de Salamanca

Fecha de defensa: 27 November 2020

  1. María Luisa Carrió Pastor Chair
  2. Francisco Javier Ruano García Secretary
  3. Laura Filardo Llamas Committee member

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 643197 DIALNET


Scientific publishing consolidates knowledge and abilities from different areas, i.e. the discipline, rhetoric, register, the genre, research skills, and publication processes (Bozu & Canto Herrera, 2009; Charlotte & Irwin, 2019; Fazel, 2013). The integration of these elements makes academic publishing a challenging effort, especially when undertaking it in English as a second or foreign language. In Spain, university professors are required to produce scientific publications and often this requirement can only be fulfilled by producing texts in English. However, the knowledge and abilities of scholars has sometimes been taken for granted (Bräuer, 2012; Natale, 2013, Carlino, 2004) and scarce research has been carried out to investigate the rhetorical patterns scholars display in their publications (Novelo Atwood, 2019 or Getkham, 2013 are two exceptions). Based on the premise that every piece of writing contains manifestations from the individual author’s needs, interests, and objectives (Ivanič & Moss, 2004), this dissertation project focuses on exploring authorial identity. In this study, I analyze how university professors in the ‘soft sciences,’ express authorial identity across their publications in the English language. From the diverse conceptions of authorial identity, I propose a framework that emphasizes the interaction with the reader (Thompson & Thetela, 1995; Thompson, 1996, 2001, 2004) and professional histories of the participants (Dressen-Hammouda, 2014; Swales, 1998), and apply it to a corpus of English published texts. The corpus consists of 70 texts from the fields of: Linguistics, Cultural studies, Bibliometrics, Philosophy, Psychology, Education, and Economics. The framework includes analysis of two interactional resources: Hypothetical-Real and Concession. This framework aims at facilitating the analysis of authorial identity in connection to the socio-professional context of the participants. The analysis allowed me to elicit the choice of interactional resources made by the authors and relate it to the authors’ textographies. As a result, a categorization of interactional resources was produced and a correlation was established between the use of interactional resources and participants’ full immersion experiences in English-speaking countries. Finally, I include some pedagogical implications for L2 academic writing, suggesting that novice writers could be made aware of the full range of choices available to manifest their authorial identities by interacting with their potential readers.