Towards the Development of a Socially-Informed, Process-Oriented Model of Research in Metadiscourse

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English Language, Maragheh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Maragheh, Iran


Since the early development of interest in the interpersonal dimensions of academic communication in the 1980s, the analytic potentials of the concept of metadiscourse have motivated a large number of investigations. Although these analytic potentials have facilitated the study of diverse academic genres, there has always been a risk of detachment of textual analyses form the contextual origins and motivations. In some cases, this detachment has been so observable that the true discoursal nature of the interpersonal dimensions of academic communication has been reduced to classifications of a large number of pure textual properties. As a reaction to this reductionist trend, the present article provides a preliminary framework within which the contextual origins of metadiscourse features can be understood. It is suggested that if the findings of metadiscourse research are meant to be interpreted in meaningful ways, they should be contextualized within such process-oriented frameworks.  


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