Boosting And Hedging In Turkish Research Articles
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Stance refers to “different kinds of personal feelings and assessments, including attitudes that a speaker has about certain information” (Biber, 2006b: 99). Using appropriate linguistic conventions helps the author convey his stance. Metadiscourse is one of them. Among the metadiscourse markers, hedges and boosters are the noteworthy tools allowing the writers to present their stance in their texts (Hyland, 2009a). Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to examine the use of hedges and boosters in the results and discussion sections of research articles (RAs) produced in natural sciences (NS) and social sciences (SS). In the study, a total of forty RAs published in peer-reviewed journals in 2017 and 2018 were chosen from four academic disciplines: biology, chemistry, linguistics and psychological counseling and guidance and the selected RAs were analyzed quantitatively by adopting Hyland’s (2005) interactional metadiscourse taxonomy. The occurrences of hedges and boosters in the sample were identified manually. Then, they were reanalyzed by an interrater to obtain more reliable results. The frequencies of hedges and boosters were calculated by a non-parametric test, Mann-Whitney U. The findings of the study revealed that the possibility structures have the highest frequencies in NS and SS. Passives are also found to occur frequently in NS and SS. Adverbial phrases and conditional clauses are the least frequent hedges in the sample. Regarding boosters, the study indicated that the private verbs and suasive verbs are the most common boosters. It was also found out that necessity/obligation modals are the second most frequent boosters. Adjectival phrases are also quite frequent in both fields. However, nominal sentences are found to be the least preferred boosters in both fields. Regarding the statistical differences in frequencies within the scope of fields, no significant difference was observed in the frequency of hedges and boosters.