An Intercultural Comparison of Authors' Self-mention and Identity Construction in English Agricultural Abstracts by Chinese and International Writers

Main Article Content

Penghua Zhang
Yi Pan


Introduction: Authors’ self-mention is unavoidably used in research articles; however, there are still controversial views on their use. The current study aims to find out what types of self-mentions are employed by Chinese and non-Chinese writers to construct different authorial identities and what causes the similarities and differences.

Methodology: A corpus-based comparative analysis was conducted on agricultural research abstracts written by Chinese and non-Chinese writers to compare three types of entities by using Chi-square and Antconc.

Results: It was revealed that abstracts by Chinese writers and non-Chinese ones were significantly different in their use of first-person plural forms and their determiners, research-oriented nouns, and discoursal nouns. Further, it was shown that different authorial identities as a researcher, discourse constructor, and arguer were constructed by human entities and inanimate entities with some preferred main verbs in specific tenses and voices.

Conclusion: The present study showed that Chinese writers differed significantly from international writers in using self-mentions and authorial identities due to different views on personal involvement, pragmatic considerations, cultural background, and writing environment. It was also found that personal involvement coexists with the impersonality of the abstract in using self-mentions in abstract writing. The current study can be conducive to abstract writing for novice writers and second language learners in choosing different self-mentions to construct different authorial identities.

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Zhang, P., & Pan, Y. (2023). An Intercultural Comparison of Authors’ Self-mention and Identity Construction in English Agricultural Abstracts by Chinese and International Writers . Journal of Contemporary Language Research, 2(2), 72–83.
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