A Cross-linguistic and Cross-cultural Study of Epistemic Modality Markers in Linguistics Research Articles

Document Type: Original Article


1 Chabahar Maritime University

2 English Department, chabahar Maritime University, Chabahar

3 Ph.D. Candidate in TEFL, English Language Department, Chabahar Maritime University


Epistemic modality devices are believed to be one of the prominent characteristics of research articles as the commonly used genre among the academic community members. Considering the importance of such devices in producing and comprehending scientific discourse, this study aimed to cross–culturally and cross-linguistically investigate epistemic modality markers as an important subcategory of hedges in linguistics research articles. To this end, three corpora of research articles written by Anglo-American and Iranian writers in English and Iranian writers in Persian were examined. The frequency occurrences of the markers were counted functionally. The data were analyzed using Mann-Whitney tests. The findings revealed that there were significant differences between all three corpora with respect to the total relative frequency of epistemic modality markers. That is, native English texts contained the highest proportion and native Persian texts included the lowest proportion of epistemic modality marker, and non-native English texts were placed in between. Furthermore, the statistical analysis of the data for each category of epistemic modality markers showed that the text groups differed significantly in containing some specific categories, but not the others. The possible interpretations of the results as well as some implications of the study have been discussed.



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