- 関東甲信越英語教育学会誌 (ISSN:21858993)
- vol.29, pp.57-70, 2015 (Released:2017-07-20)
Academic writing has been traditionally viewed as impersonal, but recent corpus-based research has revealed that writers of research articles (RAs) in both scientific and social sciences use first-person pronouns in their RAs for constructing authorial identity. This research focuses on the use of first-person pronouns, powerful linguistic resources to convey an author’s voice. Using two corpora consisting of 21 RAs each by Japanese and native English TESOL researchers, we investigate how first-person pronouns are used to represent the authors in text. We also explore the factors that characterize the Japanese writers’ use of first-person pronouns by referring to the results of a survey conducted on 70 Japanese EFL teachers inquiring about the practice and perception of first-person pronoun use in RAs. The results indicate that the Japanese researchers use first-person pronouns less frequently in their RAs. The further analysis suggests that the low frequency of first-person pronouns may not be caused just by the researchers’ view of academic writing but that different factors such as consideration for the conventions practiced in the discourse community or research methods adopted may be related to the choice of first-person pronouns in RAs.