Disciplinary and Move Analyses of Hedging in Abstracts of DIPES II Dissertations of the Higher Teachers’ Training college of Maroua

Galbert Demanou, Camilla Arundie Tabe


This paper examines hedging as a rhetorical resource employed by fifth year (DIPES II) students of the Higher Teacher Training College of Maroua in Cameroon to show politeness, respect, humility and tentativeness in presenting their arguments or stating facts and subjective opinions. A specialized corpus of 46.368 tokens was used and hedges were retrieved using AntConc 3.4.4. Data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The analysis shows that there is generally an unsatisfactory representation of hedges in the abstracts. The findings further reveal that markers of intentional vagueness, accuracy hedges and writer-oriented hedges are the most common hedging strategies. Students seemingly rely on relatively simpler types of hedging like some, few, may, could, a number of. Conversely, more complicated constructions such as it appears that, it is possible that seem virtually inexistent. Students in the Department of Bilingual Letters were found to be more tentative than their counterparts of other disciplines. It is equally observed that more hedging strategies are used in stating research findings than in any other communicative purpose of the abstracts. In substance, the innovation in this paper may lie on its artful combination of disciplinary investigation with move analysis of hedging in a seemingly ‘marginalized’ academic genre, and its exclusive focus on novice writing in a non-native professional academic institution. This has led to the conclusion that the use of hedging can now be regarded as not only discipline-specific but also move-specific.


Academic Writing, Hedging, Genre, Communicative Purpose, Abstract, DIPES II

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.11n.4p.76


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