Linguistic patterns in PhD acknowledgements written in Turkish and english

Belli S. A.

Asian ESP Journal, vol.15, no.1, pp.141-167, 2019 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Journal Name: Asian ESP Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.141-167
  • Keywords: Acknowledgements, Contrastive analysis, Linguistic patterns, Native and non-native postgraduate students, PhD dissertations
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


© 2019 Asian EFL Journal Press. All rights reserved.Acknowledgement writing has become a widespread and important academic practice in the expression of gratitude towards addressees for their assistance and it plays an essential role in the establishment of scholarly and social identity. Despite its importance, the expression of gratitude in acknowledgements has been neglected. So, this study aimed to analyze acknowledgements in PhD dissertations (DAs) written in English by speakers of English as a native language (NSE) and non-native learners (NNSE) and in Turkish by Turkish native speakers (NST) in terms of language expressions used for thanking. 150 DAs in the Social Sciences and the sub-field of English/Turkish language teaching (ELT/TLT), equally selected from three groups were compiled in a corpus and analyzed based on Hyland and Tse's (2004) language pattern framework. Findings yielded cross-cultural and cross-linguistic variations among three groups in the expression of gratitude. In all acknowledgements, performative verbs accompanied by modal auxiliaries were predominantly used whereas passive was rarely used. Turkish postgraduate students differed from the other two groups and employed the least numbers of linguistic patterns and the least variety of items in their native language. Unlike their Turkish counterparts, NNSE used nominalization to a great extent and provided the kind of support received from the addressees while thanking through mainly bare mentions. Apart from that, English native and non-native students made use of similar lexical choices for expressing their thanks even though they differed in terms of frequency of the use of their types. In the light of the findings, a number of suggestions for further research and pedagogical implications were provided.