Metadiscourse in Academic Genres: An Interdisciplinary Study of Research Articles in Sudan (Published)
Metadiscourse is a ubiquitous aspect of all academic discourse in its attempt to align with readers, and, hence, this study purports to investigate cross-disciplinary variations in its deployment in 60 research articles produced locally by Sudanese academicians in six domains. Utilizing Hyland’s (2005) typology, the corpora were compared in terms of patterns of metadiscourse and how these strands represent the Weltanschauung of particular discourse communities. Findings indicate that the corpus is characterized by a relative oblivion to the needs of readers. On the other hand, the dichotomy between interpretive discursive and natural incremental fields was borne out by the statistics. This is manifest in the preponderance of overall features in the former, together with their proclivity to draw on more interpersonal elements to establish rapport. The study has also uncovered marked deviations in the ratios of hedging, boosters and attitude markers in Chemistry and Civil Engineering compared to studies of sociology of knowledge. Yet, subtle, but significant, distinctions in the linguistic embodiment of these categories were found to set these disciplines apart from Economy and Applied Linguistics. Finally, the epistemologically contingent nature of Medicine and the empirical tendencies within Geography were positively correlated with their metadiscourse figures. The implications for teaching academic discourse are also explored.