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Title: Discourse structure and rhetoric of English narratives : differences between native English and Chinese non-native English writers
Authors: Lee, MYP
Keywords: Contrastive rhetoric
Discourse analysis
English narratives
Narrative structure
Second language writing
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: Mouton Publishers
Source: Text, 2003, v. 23, no. 3, p. 347-368 How to cite?
Journal: Text 
Abstract: This contrastive study examines discourse structure and rhetoric of English narratives written by undergraduate students who are native English writers (EWs) and Chinese non-native English writers (CWs). Findings suggest that EWs and CWs adopt a similar global structure of narrative. However, EWs and CWs show striking differences in rhetorical options. They differ in foci and approaches for presenting informative, narrative and evaluative elements in their narratives. With regard to informative elements, EWs adopt a more specific and elaborate approach in character identification, but CWs tend to use non-specific references and are restricted in giving information. In terms of narrative elements, EWs focus more on actions of the characters, while CWs emphasize overt temporal sequence. Direct statements are more frequently used by EWs than CWs. Regarding evaluative elements, most of EW texts are implicitly presented, while CWs prefer giving a moral statement explicitly by the narrator or by a third person who is often a senior. This article argues that these remarkable differences between EW native and CW non-native English writing may be closely related to the differences in the cultural backgrounds, perceptions of narrative structure and narrative rhetoric between English and Chinese.
ISSN: 0165-4888
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