Complimenting others: The case of English-written medical book reviews

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Published May 31, 2017
María Ángeles Alcaraz Ariza


This paper examines a series of variables related to compliments in a corpus of 50 book reviews published in English-language medical journals in the period 1990-2000. The variables
studied were: the book reviewed (book types), the book authorship (single/multi-authorship/ editorship), and the book review itself (frequency and targets of compliments). Our results show that scientific activity in health sciences, like in any other field of research, is eminently social in the sense that it stresses the communicative interaction that takes place among its different participants, viz., the book reviewer, the book author/editor, the audience, the discipline to which the book belongs, and the journal in which the book review is published. The fact that the book content is the feature most positively valued may be considered as a proof of the professionalization of today’s science. Finally, compliments, as a reflection of the ideational and interpersonal functions of language in the formulation of evaluative meaning, are used as linguistic-rhetoric strategies to establish and maintain a frame of solidarity and harmony within the discourse community in which they are produced.

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Alcaraz Ariza, María Ángeles. 2017. “Complimenting Others: The Case of English-Written Medical Book Reviews”. Fachsprache 31 (1-2):48-63.
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