Interdisciplinary and interlinguistic perspectives on Academic Discourse: the mode variable

Shirley Carter-Thomas, Marie-Paule Jacques


The objective of the EIIDA project is to examine the impact of mode on the way scientific discourse is formulated and structured, across languages and disciplines. The corpus collected for the project enables the comparison of academic discourse from a triply contrastive perspective: discipline, language and mode.We collected data in:

  • three languages: English, French, Spanish

  • two disciplines: humanities (linguistics) vs sciences (geo-chemistry and water sciences)

  • two modes: written (research articles) vs oral (conference presentations).

In the first part of this article we describe the main rationale behind the EIIDA project and provide details on the way the corpus was constituted. In the second part of the article we briefly describe the five studies using the EIIDA corpus that make up the present volume. All the studies point to the strong impact of mode on the way academic discourse is formulated. They also tend to confirm the hypothesis that oral academic discourse is more language-specific than its written counterpart, where the internationalisation of science and genre constraints tend to cancel out language-specific features.


contrastive corpora, discipline, language, mode

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