Attribution in novice academic English
Attribution (the direct acknowledgement of external sources in academic texts) is investigated in two corpora of novice academic English, representing first- and second-language writing in linguistics, viz. the VESPA corpus and the BAWE corpus. Findings from these corpora are compared to published academic writing in both English and Norwegian (the learners’ first language) within the same discipline. The major findings include the underrepresentation of academic attribution in the learner texts compared to both novice and expert first-language writing but a similar proportional distribution of integral and non-integral attribution across the corpora, as in (1) and (2), respectively. Reporting verbs are found to express mostly positive or neutral attitudes to the cited content; however, the evaluative potential seems to be exploited less by Norwegian writers (L1 expert and L2 novice) than by L1 English writers.
(1) As Eggins (2004) states, this kind of contrastive analysis is useful… (BAWE)
(2) In general, labels are "unspecific and requires lexical realisation in its immediate context, either beforehand or afterwards." (Francis 1994: 162). (VESPA)
Keywords: academic English, attribution, Norwegian learners of English