chapter  7
10 Pages

The Analysis of Scientific Texts in English and Chinese

The Language of Science There are practical reasons for analyzing scientific texts. The most obvious is educational: students of all ages may find them hard to read, and we know from various research reports that, in English at least, the difficulty is largely a linguistic one. So if we want to do something about it we need to understand how the language of these texts is organized. Of course, if a text is hard to read the difficulty is bound to be in some sense linguistic, since texts consist entirely of language: but in the case of scientific writing it seems that there are certain features of the way meanings are organized, and the way they are ‘worded’, that present special problems for a learner, over and above the unfamiliar subject matter and its remoteness from everyday experience.