Научная статья на тему 'Move structure of research article abstracts on management: contrastive study (the case of English and Russian)'

Move structure of research article abstracts on management: contrastive study (the case of English and Russian) Текст научной статьи по специальности «Языкознание и литературоведение»

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Аннотация научной статьи по языкознанию и литературоведению, автор научной работы — Zanina Elena

Although a plethora of papers have proved a seminal role of move-based genre analysis in cross-linguistic research of academic communication and EAP/ESP teaching and learning, there is a lack of respective linguistic or pedagogically motivated studies of research articles (RAs) and their parts aimed at comparing English and Russian. Using Hyland’s (2000) 5-move model, the current research seeks to determine the most obvious cross-linguistic differences in the move structure of abstracts of research articles on management for these languages. Based on a move analysis of the Englishand Russian-language corpora each comprising 20 unstructured RA abstracts, the research revealed conformity of most English-language abstracts to Hyland’s model, while the Russian abstracts principally displayed a three-move structure containing ‘purpose’, ‘method’ and ‘product’, and included the ‘introduction’ and ‘conclusion’ moves only occasionally. Other significant discrepancies comprised the English-language authors’ tendency to provide precise or detailed indication of research methods and results, in contrast to their brief indication or over-generalized mentioning by Russian writers, as well as greater length of the English-language abstracts and their stricter concordance to standard move sequence than those of the Russian abstracts. Though the research was conducted on relatively small corpora and was descriptive in nature, its findings might be of interest to genre analysts as well as to L2 theorists and practitioners.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Move structure of research article abstracts on management: contrastive study (the case of English and Russian)»

National Research University Higher School of Economics Journal of Language & Education Volume 3, Issue 2, 2017

Zanina, E. (2017). Move Structure of Research Article Abstracts on Management: Contrastive Study (the Case of English and Russian). Journal of Language and Education, 3(2), 63-72. doi:10.17323/2411-7390-2017-3-2-63-72

Move Structure of Research Article Abstracts on Management: Contrastive Study (the Case of English and Russian)

Elena Zanina

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Elena Zanina, Department of Foreign Languages, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Kirpichnaya ul. 33, Moscow, Russian Frederation, 105187. E-mail: ezanina@yandex.ru

Although a plethora of papers have proved a seminal role of move-based genre analysis in cross-linguistic research of academic communication and EAP/ESP teaching and learning, there is a lack of respective linguistic or pedagogically motivated studies of research articles (RAs) and their parts aimed at comparing English and Russian. Using Hyland's (2000) 5-move model, the current research seeks to determine the most obvious cross-linguistic differences in the move structure of abstracts of research articles on management for these languages. Based on a move analysis of the English- and Russian-language corpora each comprising 20 unstructured RA abstracts, the research revealed conformity of most English-language abstracts to Hyland's model, while the Russian abstracts principally displayed a three-move structure containing 'purpose', 'method' and 'product', and included the 'introduction' and 'conclusion' moves only occasionally. Other significant discrepancies comprised the English-language authors' tendency to provide precise or detailed indication of research methods and results, in contrast to their brief indication or over-generalized mentioning by Russian writers, as well as greater length of the English-language abstracts and their stricter concordance to standard move sequence than those of the Russian abstracts. Though the research was conducted on relatively small corpora and was descriptive in nature, its findings might be of interest to genre analysts as well as to L2 theorists and practitioners.

Keywords: research article, unstructured abstract, genre analysis, communicative move, cross-lnguistic, move structure

Ever since Swales' (1990) seminal paper on genres in academic discourse, there has been a continuous concern of ESP/EAP theorists and practitioners for structural and linguistic features of written academic genres. This persistent interest has been motivated, on the one hand, by an increase in intercultural written academic communication and, consequently, a need to instruct a growing number of non-native academic research writers in various aspects of academic genres, following structural conventions among the most essential ones for a researcher to succeed internationally. These practical needs have resulted in a plethora of pedagogically motivated genre-

based research aiming at achieving communicative competence by L2 learners. On the other hand, this interest is stimulated by advances in linguistic genre studies stemming from the intrinsic logic of knowledge evolution in communicative linguistics.

Genres in contemporary linguistics and pedagogics are increasingly treated as serving specific communicative aims, and analyzed through their rhetorical/communicative move structures (Swales, 1990), with the move seen as a functional discoursal or rhetorical unit performing 'a coherent communicative function in a written or spoken discourse' (Swales, 2004, pp. 226-229). Move-based framework is

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prevalent in linguistic and ESP genre analysis giving rise to abundant discipline-specific and cross-disciplinary genre research on research articles (RAs) and their conventional structural parts (Holmes, 1997; Samraj, 2002; Peacock, 2002; Bruce, 2009; Lim, 2010), as well as to a growing number of investigations of their cross-linguistic/cross-cultural variations.

Though the move structure of RA abstracts seems to have been comparatively less studied at the advent of move-based genre analysis, recent years have seen an upsurge of scholarly interest to this RA part. A large number of papers provide insights into the functions and move structure of abstracts (Hyland, 2000; Huckin, 2001; Swales & Feak, 2004; Lores, 2004), their disciplinary variation (Samraj, 2002; 2005) as well as cross-cultural and/or cross-linguistic differences (Martin, 2002; Ju, 2004). Nevertheless, surprisingly scarce research has been conducted into the move structure of RAs on management (Lim, 2006; Peacock, 2011; Piqué-Noguera, 2012; Li, Pramoolsook, & Wang, 2015), with detected papers focusing on management RA abstracts even fewer in number (Piqué-Noguera, 2012; Li, Pramoolsook, & Wang, 2015). Besides, though much of the previous work on the move structure of abstracts across languages reveals significant cross-linguistic/cross-cultural discrepancies, no research has been found into cross-linguistic variation of the move structure between English and Russian-language abstracts.

Given the invariable view of RAs as the main medium of exchanging disciplinary academic knowledge, and the scarcity of move-based cross-linguistic analysis of RA abstracts on management, this study aims at attempting to partially fill this gap by concentrating on a contrastive analysis of the move structure of management RA abstracts in English and Russian. Within this broad purpose, the research focuses on investigating conformity of the abstracts to Hyland's (2000) five-move model, as well as on specifying the most visible additional cross-linguistic differences in the abstract generic structure for the languages.

Based on relatively small corpora, the research was mainly descriptive and did not involve a thorough quantitative analysis, nor analyzing step structure of the moves. The core intention behind this paper was rather to attempt to detect and collate the most evident tendencies in the move structure of RA abstracts in both languages.

This paper develops as follows. After giving a brief overview of the previous papers relevant to achieving the current research objectives, the research corpora and the methodology applied in this study are described. The main trends observed in the move structure of abstracts in both corpora are presented and discussed. Then, the main outcomes are summarized, and the implications for both ESP teaching practice and further research in the area are outlined.

Materials and Methods

Genre Analysis and ESP/EAP

Genre analysis has established itself as one of the most favored and fruitful frameworks for assisting language learners in perceiving, interpreting, and producing academic or professional discourse. One of the reasons for its popularity among ESP/ EAP theorists and practitioners is that it provides guidelines for explicit instruction in generic structures for specialized varieties of English, which help non-native speakers of English gain easier access to the international academic community, thus improving their career opportunities and enhancing international communication in academia.

Conventionally, three core approaches in genre studies are identified. The New Rhetoric School concentrates chiefly on genre rhetorical context and its interrelation with the texts rather than on text constituents and textual features, and uses mainly ethnographic research methods. The systemic-functional approach is rooted in linguistics, emphasizes lexico-grammatical and rhetorical patterns in their regular connection to the context, and focuses mainly on pre-genres (e.g., explanations, descriptions, etc.) in wide cultural context.

Finally, the ESP approach underscores that genres belong to and are determined by discourse communities (i.e. academic, professional and societal groups) and their specific communicative purposes, rather than wider culture. In Swales' (1990) groundbreaking work, genre is defined as 'a class of communicative events, the members of which share some set of communicative purposes...recognized by the expert members of the parent discourse community', thereby constituting the rationale for the genre (p. 58). The communicative purposes are seen to shape both surface and deeper discourse structure, as well as to influence and constrain the choice of structure, content and style (Swales, 1990, p. 58).

Within the ESP genre framework, genre is viewed as having a conventional structure comprising a specific combination of moves. Moves are seen as building blocks of the overall generic communicative structure, communicative/rhetorical instruments that realize 'a sub-set of communicative purposes associated with a genre' (Bhatia, 2001, p. 80). At one extreme, moves 'can be realized by a clause; at the other, by several sentences' (Swales, 2004, p. 20); besides, they are believed to allow a rough subdivision into obligatory/ conventional and optional according to their degree of frequency, and further splitting into steps (submoves).

In academic communication, a wider cross-disciplinary community is considered by many to provide insufficient grounding for genre analysis. Though some research has revealed only minor, if any,

cross-disciplinary differences in RA move structure and frequencies, there are still many investigations postulating their importance (Swales, 1990; Hyland, 2008; Peacock, 2011, etc.). As Hyland (2008) argues, to achieve discourse community-based communicative purposes, disciplinary writers draw on the 'persuasive practices of their discipline, encoding ideas, employing warrants, and framing arguments in ways that their potential audience will find most convincing' (p. 3). Therefore, analyzing disciplinary community needs and conventions is seen by many as a convenient level of the ESP approach in genre analysis, making the latter a reliable instrument in ESP/EAP teaching and learning.

RA Abstracts and Their Move Structure

For many years, the prevalent view of the function RA abstracts have in academic communication was that they summarize RA content, thus providing assistance in selecting articles for reading. However, recently a view of abstracts as performing a more complicated role and functioning in several ways simultaneously was developed. In particular, Lores (2004) states that RA abstracts differ from RAs in function, rhetorical structure and linguistic realization. Huckin (2001) maintains that abstracts have several functions in academic communication typically serving as:

1. mini-texts summarizing the research topic, methodology and main findings;

2. screening devices helping readers in deciding whether to read the whole article or not;

3. previews providing readers with guiding lines for their reading;

4. help in indexing for abstract writers and editors.

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Besides, Swales and Feak (2004) mention that abstracts assist in reviewing new research. Emphasizing the pivotal role abstracts play in academic knowledge-making based on their function of the first introducing new research to readers, Hyland (2000) argues that abstracts possess both the informative and persuasive functions, with the latter particularly closely connected with disciplinary conventions: 'To gain readers' attention and persuade them to read on, writers need to demonstrate that they not only have something new and worthwhile to say, but that they also have the professional credibility to address their topic as an insider' (p. 63). The function of persuasion could only be performed if abstracts 'recognize and replicate the field's organizational structures, beliefs and authorized institutional practices; they must appeal to readers from within the boundaries of a disciplinary discourse', thus involving 'a certain marketization', i.e. a promotion of oneself and one's

paper through discursive means' (Hyland, 2000, p. 63).

Among the discipline- and culture- or language-influenced academic conventions the writer must follow to gain acceptance by colleagues when abstracting, the move pattern is one of the most important ones. It has, therefore, been subject to scrutiny in abundant research yielding several move structure models. While most of them are composed of three to six moves depending on the discipline and language, the five-move model appears to be among the most productive ones for genre analysis across disciplines and languages. In line with Santos' (1996) and Swales and Feak's (2004) five-move models comprising 'background', 'aim', 'method', 'results', and 'conclusion' moves with some terminological differences, Hyland's (2000) model based on a thorough study of 800 abstracts in 8 science domains includes 5 moves. They are: 'introduction' establishing the context of the paper and motivating the research or discussion; 'purpose' indicating purpose, thesis or hypothesis, outlining the intention behind the paper; 'method' providing information on design, procedures, assumptions, approach, data, etc.; 'product' stating the main findings or results, the argument, or what was accomplished; and 'conclusion' interpreting or extending results beyond the scope of the paper, drawing inferences or pointing to applications or wider implications (Hyland, 2000, p. 67).

RA abstracts are frequently divided into informative, indicative, and mixed (informative-indicative). Since there is no consensus among scholars on precise definitions of these abstract subtypes, in order to categorise abstracts, this paper draws on Yakhontova's (2003) understanding of informative abstracts as including the main research findings as well as measurements or quantities (p. 130), and indicative abstracts as signifying the subject of a paper without going into a detailed account (Yakhontova, 2003, p. 130). Besides, there is a distinction between structured abstracts divided into several formal sections with subheadings and one-paragraph unstructured abstracts.

Research Taxonomy

The present analysis aims at comparing the move frequency, as well as determining other most evident tendencies in the move structure of English-language and Russian-language informative and mixed unstructured abstracts on management. To this end, the research was based on Hyland's (2000) 5-move pattern for RA abstracts which was selected as the move structure prototypical model for two reasons. First, it seems to be among the most detailed and elaborate models currently favored by genre analysts as it includes five moves, thus offering a finer

classification, and, at the same time, embracing all the moves included in other scholars' models irrespective of how they are termed. Second, some moves in this model are designated and treated in a wider way, which could provide easier application of the model to different languages with a view of detecting possible cross-linguistic variation (e.g., 'introduction' instead of frequently used 'background', 'product' instead of conventional 'results').

Corpus and Procedure

For this research, two corpora were complied, the first one comprising informative and mixed (informative-indicative) unstructured abstracts of twenty English-medium research articles in the area of management published from 2000 to 2015, the other one composed of twenty Russian-medium RA abstracts of the same type and period. The articles for the English corpus were selected at random from journals with the impact factor for 2014/2015 exceeding 3.0, and included Journal of Management, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Supply Chain Management, Research Policy, Journal of Operations Management, and Journal of Management Studies. Since all the English-medium journals are international journals with native speakers as members of their editorial boards, it is assumed that the acceptance of the articles by these journals is a sufficient guarantee of their compliance with international standards of academic communication. Therefore, no distinction was drawn between the native speakers and non-native speakers as authors. Russian-medium journals were selected according to appraisal given by three informants from the discipline who characterized these journals as conforming to international standards, which is a relatively rare case in Russian-language academic written communication due to considerable deviation of Russian national publishing standards from the internationally accepted ones. The Russian corpora thus comprised abstracts of RAs published in two top-ranking Russian journals in this domain of science: Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo Universiteta. Series 8. Management and Rossijskij Zhurnal Menedzhmenta.

Following Peacock (2002), the moves and their boundaries were identified manually through employing both text comprehension and linguistic evidence, with the latter comprising discourse markers and new lexical references as suggested in Ding (2007). Using paragraphing as proposed in the latter work is inapplicable for analyzing the move structure of unstructured abstracts due to their conventional one-paragraph structure. In detecting and labeling the moves in the abstracts in both corpora, this study used the bottom-up approach starting from the sentence

level and then assigning each sentence to a move identified in compliance with Hyland's (2000) model.

Then, the classification was validated by two other raters working independently, one of them holding a 'Candidate of Philological Sciences' degree, which roughly equals a PhD, and the other one a senior university lecturer in English for Academic Purposes. The initial division of the abstracts into moves was iteratively revised to obtain a more precise classification. Then, the recorded findings were compared, and a simple frequency count was run manually and tabulated, the proportions of moves were counted, and the obtained data were tabulated for both the languages. Next, the numerical data were studied to determine if a move was conventional or optional; following Kanoksilapatham (2005): if a move was used in no less than 60 percent of the abstracts in the corpora, it was regarded as conventional for the language; otherwise, it was labelled as optional. Lastly, the data and the detected moves were analyzed to uncover cross-linguistic differences.

Because of a comparatively small size of the corpora, the study did not regularly look into the move-constituting steps and their sequence; rather, it attempted to certify some distinct differences between the languages in the step structures of some moves.

Results and Discussion

Based on Hyland's (2000) model, the present research focusing on identifying cross-linguistic variation in the move structure of unstructured informative and informative-indicative abstracts of English-medium and Russian-medium management RAs, revealed the same set of possible communicative moves for both the corpora. In a number of both English-language (1) and Russian-language (2) RA abstracts, the authors applied the 'introduction' move describing the research context and/or indicating the gap in the existing research or motivation for the research, although the move frequencies in the corpora differed significantly:

(1) Prior research has underscored the importance of internal and external supply chain integration, but the growing role of the supply management organization in developing this capability is not well-specified (Handfield, Cousins, & Petersen, 2015, p. 3).

(2) Interdisciplinary approach to management involves the company's focusing on effective cash management as well as its interest in determining the optimal cash balance. Given the managers and owners' different views of the cash balance problem, cash management

can be seen as a mechanism that enables owners to control managers' activity in line with the firm management theory. Most firms engaged in intentional or unintentional cash management, encounter the cash excess or deficit problems, which induces researchers to analyze these problems and their consequences (Ezerskaja, 2008, p. 30).

The overwhelming majority of both English-language (3) and Russian-language (4) authors included the 'purpose' move in their abstracts:

(3) This paper examines the effectiveness of producing so-called CoPS, i.e. complex high value products, systems, networks, capital goods, and constructs in a project-based organization PBO, as compared with a more traditional functional matrix organization (Hobday, 2000, p. 871).

(4) The article proposes a brand capital model for upmarket companies (Andreeva & Prokofyeva, 2010, p. 31).

Most RA abstracts in the English (5) and Russian (6) corpora contained the 'method' move constituted by the same possible steps - the research approach, methods, data, sample, etc., or a combination of these steps:

(5) Using an event study method, we investigate sample 272 alliances of 69 e-commerce firms (Park, 2004, p. 7).

(6) The paper reports the results of empirical research conducted from April 2012 to December 2013 using the inductive method (a case study) (Araj & Burmistrova, 2014, p. 55).

In line with the core functions of RA abstracts in academic discourse, most English (7) and Russian (8) authors included the 'product' move:

(7) Employing the foreignness of multinational enterprise subsidiaries as a particular case of minority identity, I find that managers actively cultivate minority identities by embedding into niche networks, reinforcing alternative expectations, and categorizing themselves into distinct collective identities. These elements of the minority identity enable particular forms of agency - internal experimentation and an external license to deviate - while constraining others - adaptation to the dominant logic and positioning in mature market segments (Edman, 2016, p. 55).

(8) The research revealed competitive advantages of the company's employer brand in staff recruitment, use and retention, as well as its long-term benefits for human resource management ensured by the employer-branding program (Kucherov & Zavjalova, 2012, p. 22).

In both corpora, cases of employing the 'conclusion' move were found (9, 10) formed by the same possible steps including deductions from the research results, theoretical and/or practical implications, and/ or limitations, and recommendations for further research:

(9) The findings extend theory by highlighting how minority identities are generated and sustained, as well as their implications for agency (Edman/ 2016, p. 55).

(10) This paper also presents limitations of the F-GBE model, as well as recommendations for its practical use (Andreeva & Prokofyeva, 2010, p. 31).

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Though the moves detected in the English and Russian corpora were the same, the research revealed some variations between the languages in terms of move frequencies, which are reported in Figure 1.

As it can be concluded from the data indicated in Figure 1, all the five moves are conventional for the English-language abstracts, whereas only three of them ('purpose', 'method' and 'product') appear to be conventional for the Russian language abstracts. This is additionally proved by a comparatively low percentage of occurrence of optional 'introduction' and 'conclusion' moves in the Russian corpus (10% and 35 %, respectively). In contrast to the frequencies of the 'introduction' and 'conclusion' moves, the frequency of the 'purpose', 'method' and 'product' moves are the same or similar in the English and Russian corpora, with the frequencies of the 'purpose' move 90% for both corpora, and some variations detected in the frequencies of the 'method' move (85% for the English corpus and 75% for the Russian corpus) and the 'product' move (100% and 90%, respectively). Thus, it could be assumed that the move structure of English-language abstracts of management RAs corresponds to the scheme proposed by Hyland (2000), while Russian-language RA abstracts tend to follow a three-step move structure comprising 'purpose', 'method', and 'product'.

A more detailed analysis of the move structure involving move subdivision into steps and move subtypes in the English and Russian abstracts revealed both similarities and some obvious differences. In Table 1, the numbers of move-constituting steps and/or move subtypes, with the latter understood as conventional varieties of moves (e.g., aim, thesis, or hypothesis for the 'purpose' move) are shown. Move subtype frequencies and percentages are summarized in the same table line with the move, while move-constituting steps occupy a separate table line each. The table does not reflect the division of 'introduction' and 'conclusion' into steps or move subtypes, since frequencies of these moves in the Russian corpus were low, which makes drawing a valid conclusion on their

Figure 1. Frequency of moves in the English and Russian corpora.


90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0






% of English Ras % of Russian RAs




structure highly improbable.

Table 1 illustrates the most significant differences detected between the corpora in terms of frequency of move subtypes and/or steps. Within the 'purpose' move, both the English and the Russian writers chose between several move subtypes, i. e. 'topic', 'thesis', 'research aim/problem' and 'hypothesis'. The most frequently applied move subtype in both languages was formulating the research aim or problem, which accounted for the move use in 50 % of the abstracts in the English corpus, and in 45 % of the Russian abstracts. The least frequent move variety in both languages was 'hypothesis' used in 15% and 5 % of the abstracts, respectively; a combination of two move subtypes within one move was exceptionally rare in both corpora (5% and 10 %, respectively), which could probably be explained by communicative interchangeability of the 'purpose' move subtypes and the convention of redundancy avoidance in academic writing.

A considerable amount of significant variations between the languages was detected within the 'method' move. First, the English writers preferred to provide a more or less detailed method description or precise indication (60% of the abstracts) even when referred to briefly (5) rather than formally mention using a research method without its exact indication or necessary specification (one abstract only). Meanwhile, only 35% of the Russian authors gave a more or less exact indication of the research method or described it in some detail, and 20% of the Russian-language abstracts contained its generalized mentioning (11):

(11) The evolution of the concept of company's

business model was studied, and an approach to analyzing this model was proposed (Shatalov, 2010, p. 24).

Second, the 'theoretical framework' and 'sample/ data/delimitations' steps proved to be more frequent in the English language than in Russian (45% versus 30%, and 65% versus 35 % of the abstracts, respectively). Consequently, employing a combination of steps within the 'methods' move rather than using a one-step move structure proved to be significantly more popular among the English authors than among the Russian writers (80% and 30%, respectively). Additionally, some of the English language abstracts contained comments on predictability/unpredictability of the findings and their explanation, which were not detected in the Russian abstracts. Thus, it could be concluded that the English writers tended to dwell on research methods while the Russian authors preferred their brief or, in some cases, overgeneralized indication.

Likewise, analyzing the 'product' move use by the Russian and the English authors yielded a range of important discrepancies between the languages. With compatible frequencies of using the conventional 'product' move by the English and the Russian authors (100% and 90%, respectively), the former provided a more or less detailed or precise description of the research product (7) in 90% of the articles, while the latter gave it in 60% of all the abstracts only, and 20% of the Russian authors preferred to formally mention the fact that some research results were obtained without describing the product even briefly (12): (12) Through analyzing the business models of companies funded by the charitable foundation 'Meeting the change' in 2012, data

Table 1

Number of moves, move subtypes and steps in the English and Russian corpora

Move Move subtype/step Number of En- % of English RAs Number of Rus- % of Russian RAs

glish RAs contain- containing move/ sian RAs contain- containing move/

ing move/move move subtype/ ing move/move move subtype/

subtype/step step subtype/step step

Introduction Overall (moves) 14 70 2 10

Purpose Topic 3 15 6 30

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Thesis 3 15 4 20

Problem/aim 10 50 9 45

Hypothesis 3 15 1 5

Combination of move sub-

types 1 5 2 10

Overall (moves) 18 90 18 90

Method Theoretical framework

9 45 6 30

Generalized method men-

tioning 1 5 4 20

Method description/ indi-

cation 12 60 7 35

Sample/data/ delimitations

13 65 7 35

Combination of steps 16 80 6 30

Overall (moves) 17 85 15 75

Product Product description/ expla-

nation (hypothesis support included)

Generalized product men- 18 tioning 1



90 12 60

5 4 20

5 4 20

Expected / unexpected results 4 20 0 0

Explaining the expected / unexpected results

2 10 0 0 Overall (moves) 20 100 18 90

Conclusion Overall (moves) 12 60 7 35

were obtained enabling some conclusions and assumptions about business model characteristics in social entrepreneurship (Konjuhovskij & Kuznecova, 2015).

In both corpora, there were some cases when exact identification of the move type was difficult due to its multifunctionality, and the functions most frequently combined within one move were 'product' and 'implications' (usually a part of the 'conclusion' move) as it is shown in the example below (representing the whole abstract, not its part) (13): (13) This paper suggests an approach that could provide considering short-term and long-term impacts of marketing activities in companies engaged in value chain; it substantiates directions for designing new indicators

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that could enable determining the share of value-creating companies in the cumulative outcome. A series of measures aimed at introducing new management technologies is proposed (Tretjak & Sloev, 2012, p. 29).

Besides the reported quantitative differences and some tendencies detected through comparing the frequencies of the moves, steps and their subtypes in the English and the Russian corpora displayed in Table 1, the research revealed two additional variations. First, the English language abstracts proved to be generally longer than the abstracts in Russian regardless of the article length: most abstracts in the English language corpus contained 100 to 200 words, while the majority of the Russian language abstracts ranged from 50 to 120 words in length. These differences could be

partially explained by the journal requirements; however, the latter appear to demonstrate a nationally specific tendency. Additionally, some Russian abstracts displayed variations in the sequence of moves, while English authors preferred to follow their standard order.

It may be supposed that the reported discrepancies in the move structure of the English language and the Russian language abstracts could be explained by cultural specificity of cognitive structures and consequent differences in national academic writing styles. Though cross-cultural variations in thinking and speech patterns have become a field of thorough research only in the last few decades, they are increasingly acknowledged by linguists and are commonly explained either through divergences in national intellectual styles postulated by Galtung (1985), cultural dimensions formulated by Hoefstede (1984), or Hall's (1976) cultural factors. However, explaining differences in the move structure of RA abstracts from cross-cultural perspective appears to be a challenging task requiring a rigorous analysis and is therefore outside the bounds of this research.


Though the cross-linguistic move-based genre analysis has been widely acknowledged to provide a fruitful basis for both linguistic research and ESP/EAP teaching and learning, there is a paucity of contrastive studies of RA move structures in English and Russian. Specifically, the move structure of abstracts has been understudied. By focusing on comparing move types, their sequence and frequencies in unstructured abstracts of RAs on management, this study attempted to reveal and document the most widely used move patterns for each of the languages, as well as the most vivid tendencies in the use of moves in each language.

The analysis demonstrated that the RA abstracts in the English corpus mostly followed Hyland's (2000) 5-move model while the Russian-language abstracts tended to use a 3-move structure comprising 'purpose', 'method' and 'product' moves with the same or similar frequencies as compared to the English language abstracts, but with rare 'introduction' and 'conclusion' moves. A more detailed comparative analysis of specific moves revealed the same 'purpose' move subtypes in both languages, with 'formulating the research aim/problem' being the most frequently used move variety, and 'hypothesis' the least frequently used one. Considerable discrepancies between the languages in the 'method' move included English authors' preference for exact or detailed reference to the methods and procedures used, frequent description

of data, sample or delimitations, and a tendency to use several steps inside this move. However, the Russian language abstracts tended to display the opposite tendencies, thus demonstrating a more generalized approach to abstracting than the English language authors. A similar tendency was found in the use of the 'product' move in these languages. Other important findings comprised a larger size and stricter sequence of moves in the English language abstracts testifying to stricter requirements to abstracting in the English journals, which could probably be accounted for by cross- cultural differences in academic writing styles.

The current research has several implications. First, it might provide some insights into the move structure of scientific discourse in both languages since contrastive linguistic research could be seen as a useful tool of highlighting characteristic features of each of the phenomena contrasted or compared. Second, the research outcomes could be useful for EAP/ESP teaching and learning by assisting in raising students' awareness of the conventional communicative structure of abstracts in both languages and of their cross-linguistic variations, which could help learners to avoid negative pragmatic transfer and be more successful in written academic communication.

The limitations of the research include a comparatively small size of the corpora, which could lead to limited testability of the research outcomes and conclusions. The small corpora also resulted in unfeasibility of finer analysis of the move structure than it is presented in the article, e.g. involving steps and their sequences. Another important limitation is only partial use of quantitative methods leading to the mainly descriptive character of the current research. Moreover, the research outcomes could be explained from the cross-cultural perspective. However, the present study did not aim at giving a detailed account of the move and step frequencies, nor at supplying a profound cross-cultural analysis of the detected discrepancies; rather, its aim was to reveal and document the most striking discrepancies in the move patterns of abstracts of RAs on management.

Further research could use quantitative methods and larger corpora to provide a more comprehensive analysis of the move-and-step structure variations in the English language and the Russian language abstracts of RAs on management focusing on steps and their sequences inside moves. It might also supply a detailed explanation of cross-linguistic variations based on cross-cultural research.


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