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Rhetorical Communication in the CogSci Discourse Community: The Cognitive Neurosciences (2004) in the Context of Scientific Dissemination

Authors: Lucia Abbamonte, Olimpia Matarazzo


In recent years linguistic research has turned increasing attention to covert/overt strategies to modulate authorial stance and positioning in scientific texts, and to the recipients' response. This study discussed some theoretical implications of the use of rhetoric in scientific communication and analysed qualitative data from the authoritative The Cognitive Neurosciences III (2004) volume. Its genre-identity, status and readability were considered, in the social interactive context of contemporary disciplinary discourses – in their polyphony of traditional and new, emerging genres. Evidence was given of the ways its famous authors negotiate and shape knowledge and research results – explicitly appraising team work and promoting faith in the fast-paced progress of Cognitive Neuroscience, also through experiential metaphors – by presenting a set of examples, ordered according to their dominant rhetorical quality.

Keywords: Identity, Knowledge, Rhetoric, Strategies, Genre, readability, appraisal, disciplinary discourses, experientialmetaphors, theoretical implications

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