Re-Mediation of Academic Knowledge: Reporting and Evaluating Prior Research in Archaeology Abstracts


The aim of the present study is to analyse a corpus of 163 research article abstracts in archaeology, an academic domain which, so far, has encountered little attention by linguists. The abstracts and the accompanying articles were published between 2007 and 2012 in the quarterly issues of three leading journals in the field, i.e. the Journal of Archaeological Research, the Cambridge Archaeological Journal and the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, which rank at the first three places in the SCOPUS database for the domain of archaeology. The study investigates the way archaeology abstracts report prior research, including the presence/absence of implicit/explicit evaluation, how archaeology authors structure this evaluation, the linguistic expressions they use, the place occupied by evaluation of prior research in the in the abstract’s rhetorical macrostructure. Results from the present work are analysed against already existing research on other academic disciplines in order to collocate archaeology along the disciplines’ continuum that includes the hard and the soft sciences at its extremes. Data show that abstracts in archaeology, as in other disciplines, tend to avoid open confrontationality, favouring criticism toward abstract entities.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v15p99

Keywords: The aim of the present study is to analyse a corpus of 163 research article abstracts in archaeology, an academic domain which, so far, has encountered little attention by linguists. The abstracts and the accompanying articles were published between 2007


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