Hedging in Applied Linguistics Theses: An Exploratory Comparative Study
This study investigated the use of hedging in the Discussion and Conclusion chapters of the MA theses in Applied Linguistics. The focus is on the types and frequencies of hedging devices employed by thesis writers who are native speakers of Arabic (NSA) in comparison with those employed by native speakers of English (NSE). Data were collected from a corpus of three MA theses by NSA and three MA theses by NSE. The results indicated that NSE had a tendency to use hedges far more frequently in their academic writing than academic writers from other linguistic backgrounds. One of the possible reasons for this could be explained in light of the relatively limited access which speakers of English as a second/foreign language had to the repertoire of hedging devices in English.
KeywordsPragmatics Hedging Modality Corpus Applied linguistics
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