Author: Huang, Hui
Title: A metadiscursive analysis of insurance contract provisions : an intra- and inter-genres comparison
Advisors: Ho, Victor (ENGL)
Degree: DALS
Year: 2022
Subject: English language -- Discourse analysis
Insurance policies -- Language
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Humanities
Pages: xiv, 225 pages : illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: This study employed the interpersonal model of metadiscourse proposed by Hyland (2005) to analyze the metadiscoursal features of the contract provisions. A medium-sized corpus of contract provisions with two sub-corpora selected from two mainstream insurance companies in HK was established. This study has explored and discussed both interactive markers and interactional markers used in the entire corpus and make a comparative analysis of the use of metadiscourse between the two sub-corpora from a cultural perspective. In addition, this study also compares the use of metadiscourse between this corpus as a whole with other types of genres which are mainly divided into academic and non-academic, in order to identity the characteristic patterns of the metadiscoursal use in contract provisions genres. The findings show that the two sub-corpora have some similarities and differences in the use of metadiscourse. The Eastern and Western cultural differences may help explain the differences in the use of metadiscourse between two sub-corpora as the two companies where data of the two sub-corpora come from have been started and developed in two different cultural backgrounds. It has also been found that the contract provision genre tends to employ more interactive markers than interactional markers. Meanwhile, three main characteristic patterns of contract provisions in the use of metadiscourse have been worked out via the comparisons with academic and non-academic genres. First, contract provisions tend to use plenty of brackets as code glosses to mark off the Arabic numerals in order to repeatedly explain numbers in English words appearing as figures in contract texts. Second, this genre is inclined to employ more frame markers and boosters than other genres. Third, it is also apt to apply no attitude markers. This study has explored a rarely discussed but important genre, contract provisions, among various researches on the use of metadiscourse across languages, disciplines and genres, which apply Hyland’s (2005) model. The study also indicates the advantage of the method of Hyland’s (2005) model which has detected the subtle and important differences in the language use between two seemingly similar sub-corpora. This method helps figure out the fundamental discrepancies of cultural origins between the two companies where the texts of the two sub-corpora have been collected and suggests different influences from their distinctive historical cultural backgrounds onto the companies and thus their contract provision texts.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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