Authorial identity in Turkish language and English language research articles in Sociology: The role of publication context in academic writers’ discourse choices

Isik-Tas E. E.

English for Specific Purposes, vol.49, pp.26-38, 2018 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.esp.2017.10.003
  • Journal Name: English for Specific Purposes
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.26-38
  • Keywords: Academic writing, Authorial identity, Discourse analysis, First person pronouns, Publication context, Research article, SELF-MENTION, SPANISH, WRITTEN
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


© 2017 Elsevier LtdFew studies to date have investigated the role of publication context in shaping academic writers’ linguistic choices in establishing authorial identity in different writing cultures. This study explores how authorial identity is represented through first person pronouns in 130 Sociology research articles (RAs) in Turkish and in English published in national and international journals. Both corpus-based and interview-based analyses were employed. Three sub-corpora were analyzed: (1) Turkish writers’ Turkish RAs in national journals, (2) Turkish writers’ English RAs in mainstream international journals, and (3) Native Speaker (NSE) writers’ English RAs in mainstream international journals. The findings revealed extensive similarities in the frequency and discourse functions of first person pronouns in English RAs written by NSE and Turkish scholars in mainstream international journals. Both groups utilized first person pronouns in high-risk functions, such as expressing an opinion, to front a powerful authorial identity. In contrast to Turkish and NSE scholars publishing in international journals, Turkish writers publishing in Turkish national journals tended to avoid using first person pronouns and displaying an overt authorial presence in their RAs. The findings revealed the likely significance of the publication context in the discoursal choices of academic writers.