Academic journal article International Journal of English Linguistics

A Comparative Study of Boosting in Academic Texts: A Contrastive Rhetoric

Academic journal article International Journal of English Linguistics

A Comparative Study of Boosting in Academic Texts: A Contrastive Rhetoric

Article excerpt


Boosting, an authorial commitment, and hedging, a authorial mitigating, are two issues interconnected one another with a gaining importance in the last decades (for detail see Gillaerts & Velde, 2010). However, boosting has remained as an issue needing to be studied from different aspects; for instance, cross-linguistic, cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural or comparative while hedging gains a great deal of attention from researchers. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the corpora in terms of statistical inclusion of certainty markers in the research articles written in English by Turkish, Japanese and Anglophonic authors, and then to explain the results obtained through statistical tests in the sense of linguistic and cultural factors. A corpus of total 60 research articles written by 20 Anglophonic authors, 20 Japanese authors, and 20 Turkish authors of English constituted the data for the present study. The data were scanned by researchers of the present study. Having completed the scanning, the words functioning as boosters were categorized in line with the taxonomy created for the present study. Then, the total certainty markers for each group of scholars were calculated and analyzed through ANOVA test. The test results provided whether there were any statistically significant differences among the groups in terms of including boosters in the research papers. Furthermore, the present study formed a boosting list as a result of dictionary scanning, which may be a reference for further studies, and the most and the least used boosters of authors were gathered in the tables.

Keywords: Anglophonic, assertiveness, booster, boosting, Japanese, Turkish

1. Introduction

Boosting, also called intensifiers or certainty markers interchangeably, is an issue studied under metadiscourse. It creates an emphatic impression in the reader, that is, an impression of certainty, conviction and assurance. In other words, boosters may be thought as metadiscoursal markers aiming to strengthen writers' claims on the issue, accordingly a heftier conviction impact on the stockholder. Along similar lines, they have a purpose of increasing the propositions, and prove the writer's engagement and commitment to his/her statements (Hyland, 1998). In brief, boosters are intensity markers that prove the author's stance on a colossal scale by narrowing discursive space.

Boosting has always been studied together with hedging, which is a de-intensifier statement and a tentative language to reduce the writer's commitment. While there exist some studies conducted only on hedging, boosting surprisingly has been avoided to be studied distinct from hedging. With an explicit parlance, it has stayed under the shadow of hedging because of co-processing. So, a study that descends into particular in order to investigate emphatic expressions would be of utmost importance to able to gain further insight into boosting. On the top of this, now that a paper is written to convert a knowledge to another or to support the idea by convincing the readers, boosting is an indispensible part in order to realize that aim for the authors. More, it is difficult to gauge the effect of a writing over the audience, but through boosting it may be possible to increase the impact level by stating the resolution.

As aforementioned, the high majority of the studies in the literature conducted the issue dichotomously; hedging and boosting which is likely to end with insufficient care in terms of boosting because it generally underestimated when studied with hedging. So, there seems a paucity of studies conducted only on boosting.

Furthermore, the studies in the literature show that they were conducted by analysing surface linguistic features of boosters but not other factors that could be important like cross-cultural. Indeterminate knowledge on cross-cultural factors as regards boosting makes it needy to investigate the issue in-depth on whether the culture of the author, as well as surface linguistic features, has any effect on the use of intensity markers in his/her writings. …

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