“It seems plausible to maintain that…”: Clusters of epistemic stance expressions in written academic ELF texts
Nowadays, when English has firmly established itself as a lingua franca (ELF) in academic settings, it is very important to study the features of texts written by L2 speakers who come from a variety of cultural and L1 backgrounds and who use ELF in their academic communication. The present study focuses on clusters of epistemic stance expressions used in research articles written by L2 speakers. The analysis of 20 papers from the SciELF corpus reveals the patterns in the use of epistemic stance clusters, their distribution in different sections of research articles and the functions the clusters perform at the textual level. The results show that there are many similarities in the distribution and functions of epistemic stance clusters in texts. It suggests that the way L2 speakers who are professionals in their fields express epistemic stance is more influenced by the norms of the genre and the discipline than by their L1 and cultural backgrounds.