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Title: Writing in the sciences and humanities: a clause-complex perspective
Authors: Leong, Alvin Ping
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Leong, A. P. (2021). Writing in the sciences and humanities: a clause-complex perspective. Word, 67(2), 137-158.
Journal: Word 
Abstract: Stereotypes concerning writing in the sciences and the humanities suggest that they are two distinct varieties. However, corpus-based studies comparing their language features are limited. This present study addresses this research gap by focusing on the distribution of clauses and inter-clausal relationships using Michael Halliday’s framework of clause complexing. The corpus comprised 40 articles from the sciences and the humanities. The clauses in the articles were analyzed along two dimensions – the systems of taxis and logico-semantics. The findings revealed that the distribution of independent and dependent clauses in both varieties was the same. The scientific articles in the corpus, however, favored the use of simplexes and paratactic extensions. By contrast, the humanities articles had more extensive use of embedded clauses and projections. The results suggest that scientific writing has a simpler clause structure than writing in the humanities, but differences in certain tactic and logico-semantic relations reflect discipline-specific variations. Further work requires these findings to be more extensively tested using a wider range of disciplines. Expanded, comparative work to include the social sciences is also needed to shed further light on how clauses are typically used in different discipline groups.
ISSN: 0043-7956
DOI: 10.1080/00437956.2021.1909866
Schools: School of Humanities 
School of Social Sciences 
Research Centres: Language and Communication Centre 
Rights: © 2021 International Linguistic Association. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Journal Articles
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