May 2009. Volume 4 Issue 1
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A Comparison of International and Chinese Journal Article Abstracts: From Move Structure to Transitivity Analysis
The College of Foreign Languages,
Chongqing University, P.R China
Ping Huang is a professor working at the College of Foreign Languages, Chongqing University, P.R China. She obtained her doctorate in the University of South Australia in 2007. Her recent published research focuses on ESP teaching and the training of university subject teachers to teach bilingually in China. These research interests also involve her in systemic functional linguistics and genre analysis.
This paper compares international and Chinese TESOL research article abstracts (RAAs) written in English using Swales’ (1981, 1990) move structure model and Halliday’s (1994) description of Transitivity Processes and lexis. A small corpus was established with 64 journal RAAs written in English from four international TESOL-related journals and four Chinese TESOL journals written in English in 2003. The results show that (1) the four structural moves of Swales’ (1981, 1990) model were evident in both abstract sets but were differently distributed; (2) the distribution of transitivity processes in the journal article abstract moves was related to the move structure; and (3) lexical analysis provides further evidence of Swales’ (1981, 1990) move structure. The research suggests the need for TESOL practitioners to consider these factors in preparing RAAs.
Key words: genre analysis, transitivity process, move analysis, lexis