The Structure of Scientific Discourse
by Hasan Ansary
The Structure of Scientific Discourse: Discipline-Specificity vs. Universality presents details of an empirical study that investigates whether the ... Show synopsis The Structure of Scientific Discourse: Discipline-Specificity vs. Universality presents details of an empirical study that investigates whether the functional structure of scientific English discourse and the formal linguistic elements commonly associated with this particular type of English discourse are identical across a variety of academic disciplines of higher education. To this end, 300 textbooks written by 300 different writers on eight branches of science (30 x 8 = 240) and two branches of the fine arts (30 x 2 = 60) are examined. It appears that homogeneity of English discourse across all academic disciplines is a mere speculation and that classification of the supposedly homogeneous scientific disciplines into physical, biological, earth, and social sciences seems to have, aside from a content reality, a linguistic legitimacy. This study suggests some interesting directions for text analysis, in general, and for English for Science and Technology (EST), in particular.