Use of Hedges in Pakistani Academic Discourse: A Comparative Study

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Imtisal Nosheen
Dr. Behzad Anwar
Waseem Hassan Malik


This study investigates the use of stance markers in Pakistani academic discourse of PhD theses of pure sciences and social sciences. Stance markers consist of hedges, boosters, attitude markers and self mention. However, the researchers only investigated the hedges. Hyland (2005) model of metadiscourse is used to analyze the data. This model consists of two categories; interactional and interactive and is used to investigate the stance and engagement markers in different genres. Moreover the researchers analyzed the data quantitatively as well. Antconc software has been used to extract the exact frequencies and examples from both corpora. It has been found that stance markers are used more frequently in the corpus of social sciences as compared to pure sciences. Moreover, Pakistani writers of PhD theses of social sciences use more stance markers of metadiscourse as compared to pure sciences. So, the writers of social sciences prefer to present their stance and engage the audience through hedges, boosters, attitude markers, self mentions, directives, questions, shared knowledge and personal asides. It can be concluded that the writers of social sciences make their theses more appealing and comprehensive for the readers through stance and engagement markers.

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