Borrowing of discourse functions of English suggest by Spanish sugerir in biomedical research articles: A contrastive study
Área de conocimiento
Datos de la obra
Lengua, traducción, recepción: en honor de Julio César Santoyo=Languaje, translation, reception: to honor Julio César Santoyo/editoras, Rosa Rabadán, Trinidad Guzmán y Marisa Fernández
León: Universidad de León, Área de Publicaciones, 2010
In biomedical research articles (RAs), the polysemous verb suggest is commonly used by authors as a hedging device to express tentative claims and to attenuate evaluation of other researchers’ work. In a wider context of academic prose, Biber et al. (1999) classify suggest as a communicative verb, and note that it occurs at a frequency of over 400 tokens per million words, is associated with a nominal that clause in over 100 cases per million words, and “when such [communication] activities are reported, they are often attributed to some inanimate entity as subject of the verb” (Biber et al. 1999: 372). Suggest, therefore, makes a considerable contribution to the impersonal style of both academic and scientific prose, and forms part of a cluster of verbs (including indicate, find, show, prove, demonstrate) that allow writers both to express their evidence-based claims along a scale of certainty without being too pretentious and to mitigate critical evaluation of work by members of their peer group (Williams 1996). This function of suggest is increasingly found for its apparent Spanish counterpart sugerir in Spanish RAs, especially in translated texts, where the frequency of sugerir appears to be almost double that observed in naturally occurring Spanish texts.
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