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Revista signos

versión On-line ISSN 0718-0934

Resumen

MULLER, Gisela. Metadiscourse and perspective: Metadiscoursive functions of modality modifers introduced by ‘como’ in scientific discourse. Rev. signos [online]. 2007, vol.40, n.64, pp.357-387. ISSN 0718-0934.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-09342007000200005.

The aim of this article is to explore the metadiscoursive and cognitive-semantic dimension of modality modifers introduced by ‘como’ in a corpus of twenty research articles from several disciplines. The analysis is based on the following assumptions: 1) the modality modifer expresses a type of perspective of conceptualization from which the propositional content is construed; 2) within the framework of each perspective, the modality modifer has several metadiscoursive functions; and 3) in the “environment" of the modifer or sentential nucleus several communicative acts take place. The results of the analysis reveal the presence of three classes of perspectives of conceptualization: visual, communicative and cognitive, which are distinguished by the semantic content of the modifer and, particularly, by the semantic value of the verbs used. In the framework of each one of these perspectives several metadicoursive functions were identifed. These can be classifed into two main categories: textual and contextual metadiscourse. With respect to the communicative acts identifed, it was observed that although most of them can be realized in the environment of any of the three perspectives, the acts acquire particular features which depend on the perspective that introduces them and on the metadiscoursive function of the modifer. In the conclusions it is pointed out that the diversity of metadiscoursive functions that the modality modifer assumes reveal different roles of the author in this type of discourse. On the other hand, the study of the interrelation between perspective and communicative acts suggests that each perspective can assume a strategic value with certain communicative acts that may risk the author’s image in front of his discourse community

Palabras clave : Research articles; modality modifers; perspectives of conceptualization; metadiscoursive functions; communicative acts.

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