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 Scientific English

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كاتب الموضوعرسالة
The Legend
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إدارة المنتدى

المشاركات : 707

نقاط التميز : 1784

التقييم : 90

تاريخ التسجيل : 26/12/2011

العمر : 24

الجنس : ذكر

المزاج : excellent

الأنمي المفضل : Dragonball

مُساهمةموضوع: Scientific English   الإثنين نوفمبر 28, 2016 11:49 am

[ltr]Legal and Scientific English are two different, but at times similar, varieties of English language. Both Legal and Scientific English have specific features and functions. While Legal English aims at imposing rights and obligation, Scientific English aims at conveying knowledge, facts, and indicate accuracy and exactness. The upcoming analysis encompasses two articles: the legal one (Agreement of Lease) and the scientific one (Magnetic Resonance Imaging (IMR)). The two given articles will be analyzed according to: Layout, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Phonology, as the following analysis will illustrate. 

I. LAYOUT: Stylistic Analysis

1. Paragraphing: 

     For legal English, paragraphing is an absent feature, that is there is no organization with regards to paragraphs to be divided into main ideas. Each paragraph in the legal document is randomly divided into several parts with no spacing or indentation. The function of such absence of paragraphing in legal English is to avoid ambiguity and prevent cheating of any kind. 

     On the other hand, paragraphs in scientific English are generally well-organized. Most paragraphs consist of a topic, amplification, and a conclusion. As an example from the scientific article above, the first paragraph is organized in this way: 

a/ topic sentence: "A magnetic resonance imaging.....uses powerful magnets....images of the body." This first sentence introduces the main topic of the whole paragraph, (i.e Magnetic Resonance Imaging). 

b/ amplification: 
a. "The MRI machine emits....molecules." 
b. "Radio be examined." 
c. "The RF change....process." 
d. "This radio image." 
e. "The resonant frequency...of interest." 

     These five sentences amplify the topic, giving more details and illustrations about, to make it clearer. 

c/ Finding / Conclusion: 
"MRI uses three electromagnetic fields: 
static magnetic field..
gradient fields 
radio-frequency fields...antennas." 

     This final sentence concludes the paragraph and provides a kind of a summary for it. 

     The function of such neat and well organization of paragraphs in scientific English is for clarity and to reflect the organized nature and formality of this variety. 

2. Tilting: 

     While titling is an absent feature in legal English documents, it is exploited in scientific English texts with different graphological types. The scientific article discussed contains one title, which is the headline, i.e "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)" occupying the top-left corner of article. It is a noun phrase written in bold face and initially capitalized. It also contains an acronym (MRI) for the headline; to highlight the importance of this acronym afterwards in the article. 

     The function of titling in scientific English is to summarize main points, demonstrate another point of organization of this variet, and emphasize central idea. 

3. Punctuation: 

     Legal English and scientific English are comparatively different in the use of punctuation marks. In the old traditional legal documents, punctuation was categorically absent. However, in recent modern legal texts, punctuation marks such as comma and full stop are relatively used. In the given legal document, for example, commas and full stops are used to ease understanding. 

     In a different way, punctuation is used unmarkedly, normally, conventionally, and formally in scientific articles to aid easy reading. Five punctuation marks need to be attended to: 

a. The popular use of comma conventionally to mark signposts inside the sentence. 

b. The dash is also frequent to mark an interruptive phrase / clause. However, an unusual use of dash is marked in scientific texts: to preceded an explanatory phrase. (No examples in the text).

c. The brace brackets are also recurrent to point out either an embedding or interruption, e.g: (typically 1.5 to 3 teslas), parag. 1, an acronym e.: (MRI), (NMI), or an explanatory phrase, e.g: (MRI scanner), parag. 1. 

d. The rare use of question marks, because scientific English usually supplies answers, results, facts and discoveries, but does not pose questions. 

e. The absence of the exclamation mark, because there is nothing to claim about in scientific English. 

     The function is to aid easy reading, reflect formality and avoid unnecessary questions and exclamations. 

4. Capitalization: 

     Legal and scientific English are different in the use of capitalization. Capitalization is a significant feature in the legal English, while it is normal in scientific English. In the above legal document for example, some words are wholly capitalized, such as: "THIS LEASE", "WITNESS THAT", to mark the beginning of a document or a new part of the same document. Other words are initially capitalized like: "Lease, Owner, Resident." The function of initial capitalization is to give the word more prominence and significance. In fact, personalia (terms referring to persons) as "Owner", "Resident" are always initially capitalized for their great importance. 

    Apart from this, in scientific English capitalization is used normally and congenitally and it is not a special feature. 

5. Figures and Symbols: 

     Unlike legal English, one of the prominent features of layout in scientific English is the wide use of equations, figures, tables, pictures and symbols. As an example from the article, the use of the picture in the first page to highlight the "brain MRI representation". Another example is the use of figures: "T2-MRI", "1.5 to 3 teslas", "3D". 

     The function is for illustration and to be clear and accurate. 

II. GRAMMAR: Stylistic Analysis

1. Sentence Structure: 

      There are two prime features which are remarkable in legal English: 1. Unusual length, 2. Unusual complexity. A clear example of a long complex sentence can be traced in the document. This will illustrate: 

1. "If any provisions of any extent...." (Sub. Clause) 
2. "The remainder of the.....circumstances.." (The subject) 
3. "other than those.....or unenforceable.." (Inserted sub. C) 
4. "be affected.." (Main verb) 
5. "shall not be affected thereby...." (Main clause) 
6. "and each law." (Coordinate clause) 

     The function of such complexity and unusual length of sentences in legal English is to indicate the semantic unity and compactness of the whole sentence, to be precise and avoid ambiguity. 

     As for scientific English, the following features are prominent: 

a. Simple structure: 

     Sentences are usually simple, that is the subject, verb and object / complement can easily be located. Examples from the article: 

-The MRI machine emits a radio frequency (RF) pulse..."

- "Radio frequency antennas ("RF coils") send the pulse.."

b. Long sentences: 

     Sentences tend to be relatively long and complex, but not complicated, because their main categories (subject-verb-object) can easily be located. Here are some examples from the scientific article: 

"A magnetic resonance imaging instrument.........of the body." (Parag. 1) 
-"For example, because MRI has only........with X-ray and CT." 

     These two sentences are long for the same reason, that is a long postmodification after the object. 

     The function of using long and simple sentences in scientific English is to provide details in an easy, natural and fluent way. 

     Another common feature of sentence structure in both legal and scientific English is the prime use of declarative sentences. Almost all sentences in the legal document are written in declarative sentences; to assert the obligatory nature of legal English. Likewise, almost every sentence in the scientific article above is of declarative type; to supply explanations, illustrations, results and to facilitate comprehension. 

2. Clause Structure: 

     Legal and scientific English have relatively similar clause structure: long and complex; due to many insertions, interruptions, embedded and non-finite clauses inside the same clause. But clauses are not complicated in scientific texts, while in legal texts are complicated. 

     The following analysis of a long sentence from the legal document above will clarify the complexity of clauses: 

1. "Resident covenants......." (Main clause 1) 
2. that if default.....of rent.." (Sub. Clause) 
3. "or if Resident shall.....covenants.." (coordinate sub. Clause) 
4. "or" (coordinate phrase with 3) 
5. "then Owner" (Main clause 2)
6. "and recover any....damages.." (coordinate clause)
7. "including all costs.....fees.." (inserted sub. Clause) 
8. "after a" (Insertion) 
9. "and a statutory ten.....of contract." (coordinate phrase with 7) 

     This analysis shows how one sentence in legal documents can have such complexity. The function is to reflect the oneness and compactness of the whole document and details in it. 

     As for the scientific article, a good example can be found in the first sentence of the first paragraph: "A magnetic resonance imaging.........of the body." This long complex sentence consists of the following clauses: 

1. "A magnetic....(MRI scanner).." (Main clause part 1) 
2. "or "nuclear..." scanner..." (Interruptive phrase)
3. "as it....known.." (Embedded sub. Clause interrupting 1) 
4. "uses powerful magnets..." (Main clause part 2) 
5. "to polarize and....human tissue.." (Non-finite clause 1) 
6. "producing...signal.." (Non-finite clause 2) 
7. "which is...encoded.." (Embedded relative clause) 
8. "resulting in....the body." (Non-finite clause 3) 

     The function is to reflect the insistence in scientific English on including every necessary detail anywhere in the sentence. 

3. Sentence Connectivity: 

     For legal English, there are mainly three features of sentence connectivity, which are: 

a) The most commonly used connectors are "and" and "or". Other connectors are quite rare in legal documents. Only coordinate connectors of addition, e.g: "and", or of alteration, e.g: "or" are used in the document to add more details and reflect unity of texts. 

b) Pronouns are quite rare in legal documents, if not absent. Instead, nouns are recurrently repeated. In the above document, there is no presence of any pronoun, and nouns are repeated and not substituted with any pronoun. The function is to avoid ambiguity of reference. 

c) Anaphoric items (referring back) such as "that, this, these, such, etc." are quite rare. In fact, an anaphoric word is often used together with the word repeated, e.g: "This Lease", "the Resident", "such rent"; "the" is used with words like: "said, undersigned, approved, etc", e.g: "the said rent", "the undersigned Resident". The function is to avoid ambiguity of reference. 

     Scientific English, on the other hand, uses three major common types of connectors: 

1/ Logical connectors: e.g: "therefore", (parag. 2) and "so", (parag. 3) to indicate a summary or a logical result. 

2/ Connectors of contrast: to provide a counter argument, e.g: "However" 

3/ Connectors of addition: e.g: "and" and "or" are widely used to accumulate relevant information together. 

     To sum up, scientific and legal texts are only similar in the use of connectors of addition / coordinate connectors to add details. 

4. Verb Phrase: 

     The following are important features of verb phrase in legal English: 

1. Non-finite verbs: 
     Non-finite verbs are overused in independent clauses. Examples from the legal document include: "providing" (gerund), "made, entered, said, incurred, including" (participles), "to be kept, to be parked" (infinitives). The function of non-finite verbs is to indicate the interconnection and interdependence of clauses in legal texts. 

2. Passive vs Active: 
     Passive voice is more recurrent and preferable than active in legal English. The document above shows the dominance of passive; for example: "made, shall be applied, has been abandoned, etc." The function of this dominant use of passive voice is to presuppose the hidden authority of law. 

3. The use of shall: 
     The modal verb "shall" has a characteristic special use in legal documents. It is recurrently used in the document to mean "must"; to imply and indicate obligation. 

     On the other hand, verb phrase in scientific English can be considered through the following points: 

1. Simple verbs: the verbs used are usually simple and common, e.g from the article: "send, is, be, are, collected, uses, etc."; to facilitate understanding and aid clarity. 

2. Tense: three main tenses are used: 

a. Simple past: to indicate past achievement and discoveries (no examples) 

b. Simple present: to imply a reference to present time, timeless facts, and/or inevitability what is talked about, or all together. e.g from the scientific article: 

-"The MRI machine emits..." (Present time, timeless facts and inevitability) 
-"MRI uses three electromagnetic..." (Timeless fact + inevitability) 

c. Present perfect: to demonstrate well-established findings and accomplishments, e.g: "...MRI has only been in use since...1980s).

3. Passive vs Active: 

     Like legal English, passive voice is recurrently used in scientific English to achieve objectivity, because results are more important than the agent. Examples from the scientific article: 

a. "it was originally known.." 
b. when RF is turned off.." 
c. "gradient fields that can be modified.." 
d. "X-ray must be blocked by..." 

     The function of passive is to indicate formality and objectivity. 

     However, active is also used in scientific articles, but with a special, deviant use, tending to imply depersonalization. That is subjects are depersonalized and are inanimate objects. e.g from the scientific article: 

-"The MRI machine emits radio..." 
-"Radio frequency antennas ("RF coils") send the pulse..." 

     The function of both types of voices, however, is to reflect objectivity and formality. 

5. Noun Phrase: 

     In legal English, noun phrases are extremely long and complex with lengthy complicated postmodification. Examples from the legal document above: 

-"THIS LEASE, made and entered this...."

-"any expenses incurred in the reletting of the house.." 

     The function of such complexity of noun phrases is to join together all necessary details and stress the concern with long details and normality of structure. 

     Similarly, noun phrases in scientific English are long, complex, compound, and of lengthy postmodification. Here are their major points: 

a/ The genitive: The use of "of-genitive" construction is the most prominent and dominant in scientific English. Besides, it asserts the post modification structure of scientific articles. Examples from the article: 

-"images of the body..."
-"The resonant frequency of a spinning magnetic..."
-"The strength of the main magnetic field..."

     There is no example of "'s" genitive. The function of the common use of "of-genitive" is to give details in a conventional, simple and fluent way. 

b/ Compound nouns: are the noun phrases whose elements are nouns only. They are also called adjectival noun phrases. Examples from the article: 

-"hydrogen nuclei" 
-"Radio frequency antennas" 
-"health hazards" 

c/ Postmodified nouns: These are the most complex noun phrases, and they refer to nouns followed by a relative clause or an explanatory phrase. e.g: 

-"hydrogen nuclei (i.e single protons)" (an explanatory phrase) 
-"there are well-identified health risks associated...." (Relative clause, the relative pronoun (which (are)) after "risks" is omitted" 

d/ Adjectival pre-modification of nouns: These refer to the noun phrase preceded by an adjective, and it is used in scientific English, e.g: 

-"Magnetic Resonance Imaging" 
-"primary magnetic field" 

     The function of this frequent feature is to achieve precision of description. 

e/ Adjective-noun noun phrases: These are combined of pre-modifying adjectives and a noun. Examples: 

-"Magnetic (Adj.) Resonance (N.) Imaging (N.) 
-"tomographic (Adj.) Imaging (N.) technique (N.) 

     The function of such complexity of noun phrases in scientific English is to contribute a great deal to precision and formality. 

6. Adjective: 

     Adjectives rarely used in legal English because they might carry ambiguity, while in scientific English are frequent but only when necessary to accomplish accuracy and precision. Intensifiers are also rare in legal and scientific English because the imply exaggeration. However, when used, they add punctuality (e.g from the legal document: "any installment, all rent, any provision"; the give the required degree of precision (e.g from the scientific article: "a very strong...static.." Adjectives are sometimes used in legal English as substitute for words, e.g from the document: "the said landlord", "the approved application". 

7. Adverbs: 

     In legal English, adverbs of time and place are particularly exploited, and freely used with great mobility. Examples from the document: "on the first day" "after the expiration" (adv. of time); "in the house" (adv. of place). Old traditional adverbials are also recurrent in legal documents. These adverbials are composed of two or three words. Examples from the document include: 

-"hereinafter" -------> here + in + after
-"hereby" ------> here + by
-"thereafter" ------> there + after
-"whereof" ------> where + of 

     The function of this is to achieve perfect precision and reflect the commitment of legal English to tradition and conservation. 

     On the other hand, in scientific English adverbs and adverbial phrases are fairly used. The most used types of adverbs are: 

Adv. of place, e.g: "to the area", "through"
Adv. of manner, e.g: "originally", "spatially" 
Adv. of time, e.g: "when", "often", "since
Adv. of result, e.g: "therefore" 
Adv. of reason, e.g: "because"

     The function of using adverbs is to be exact about the time, place, way, and reason of what is talked about. 

III. VOCABULARY: Stylistic Analysis: 

     Legal and scientific English have different vocabulary characteristic that distinguishes them from each other. Some features are similar while some are different, as will be illustrated below. 

1. Archaisms: 

     Archaic (old) words are still exploited in traditional legal documents and are prime stylistic feature. This is only a feature of legal English and is not present in scientific English. There are two types of archaisms: 

a. Archaic words: there aren't any examples of archaic words in the document. 

b. Adverbials: These are combined of two or three words: an adverb an a preposition. Examples from the document: "hereinafter" -----> here + in + after, "thereof" ----> there + of, etc. 

     The function is to reflect the traditional and conservative nature of legal English as well as its frozen formal style. 

2. Technical Vocabulary: 

     Technical vocabulary is a set of words that are limited to a special field of knowledge. In both legal and scientific texts, there are some words used which are special and usually understood by specialists only. Examples of technical terms from the legal document: "Lease, covenant, attorney, liable, hereby, contract, fee, etc." Examples of technical terms from the scientific article: "Resonance, nuclei, hydrogen, tomographic, X-ray, vascular, tumors, liver, etc." 

     The function of using technical vocabulary in both legal and scientific English is to reflect speciality and formality of these both varieties, and to achieve precision. 

3. Synonyms: 

     This is a feature of legal English and not used in scientific English. Pairs of synonyms are fairly recurrent in legal documents. They are near synonyms rather than absolute synonyms. Most pairs consist often of an English word and a French synonym. Examples from the document: 

a. "covenant and condition" 
b. "subject and subordinate" 

     The function of such pairs is to achieve perfect accuracy of meaning and to reflect conservatism and traditionality of of legal English. 

4. Foreign Vocabulary:

    Both legal and scientific English are rich with foreign words, especially from Latin, French and Greek. For legal English, there is a big dead of French, Latin and Old English words. Such foreign words can be found in the legal document above, e.g: 

French: "Lease, attorney, condition, agree, provision, covenant, etc." 
Old English: "made, name, deemed, the, has, been, this, etc." 
Latin: "Term, Deposit, expiration, basis, calendar, fee, etc." 

     For scientific English, there are foreign words, especially Latin and Greek, or Latin or Greek derivation. Examples from the article above: "resonance, hydrogen, magnets, molecules, frequency, tomographic, technique, diagnostic, etc." 

     The function of using foreign words in both scientific and legal English is to reflect the formal, traditional and conservative nature of both varieties. 

5. Characteristic Vocabulary: 

     There are special words which characterize both legal and scientific English that are used almost in all of their texts.

     There are two characteristic features used in legal English: 1. The uses of "shall" to mean "must" and imply obligation, 2. Synonyms, e.g: "covenant and condition", "subject and subordinate". The function is to reflect the special nature of legal English. 

     Likewise, scientific English has two recurrent characteristic features: 1. The use of "Thus": to sum up results or conclusions (no examples found in the article), and 2. The use of depersonalized subjects: as we have seen in the previous section (2.3), almost all of the subjects are inanimate, e.g from the article: "The MRI machine", "Radio frequency antennas ("RF coils")." The function here is to affirm speciality, conventionality and objectivity of scientific English. 

6. Lexical Repetition: 

     This is a prominent feature in both legal and scientific English as many words are frequently repeated. In legal English, the same word is unusually repeated in most cases, e.g in the above legal document: "Owner (16); Lease (16); Resident (19)", and many other examples. The function here is to stress the obsession with accuracy of reference and meaning.
      In much the same way, words and terms are frequently repeated in the scientific article for two functions: 1. To emphasize a key term, e.g. the repetition of "frequency, Magnetic Resonance", and 2. to achieve precision of reference, e.g. the repetition of "CT, X-ray, MRI, imaging, etc). 

7. Core Vocabulary: 

     This feature is prominent in scientific English which distinguishes it from legal English. Simple and common words are used in scientific articles. This includes also simple verbs, e.g from the article: "send, be, call, produce, use, etc." The function of using core vocabulary in scientific English is to ease comprehension, and strike a balance with technical vocabulary. 

8. Colloquialisms: 

     Colloquial words and expressions are quite rare in scientific English and absent in legal English. When used in scientific Texts, they are considered the exception, not the rule. Only one example is found in the whole scientific article: "turn off" (i.e shut / stop / close). The rareness of colloquialisms in scientific English has the function of confirming and asserting the formal style of scientific texts. 

9. Circumlocution: 

     This is a feature of scientific English, which refer the words and expressions that are unnecessarily long. Scientific English sometimes uses circumlocution to avoid using pronouns, names of people or active voice. Examples from the article: 

-"MRI has been only in use..." (Instead of "MRI was only used")

     The function of circumlocution is to emphasize the abstract and objective nature of scientific, and ensure that elegance of language and style is insignificant. 

10. Terms of Art: 

     This is a feature that is prominent in legal English. Terms of art are words and phrases that lawyers and specialists of law have decided not to argue about their meaning. Examples from the legal document: "Landlord, Lease, deem, attorney, etc." 

     The function of this feature in legal English is to strongly emphasize the speciality of legal English beyond any doubt. 

11. Acronyms and Abbreviations: 

     Acronyms and abbreviations are widely used in scientific English, but almost absent in legal English. Almost all scientific texts use acronyms and abbreviations, including symbols. Examples from the scientific article: 

-"MRI" -----> "Magnetic Resonance Imaging" 
-"CT" -----> "Computed tomography" 
-"DWI" ----> "diffusion weighted imaging" 

     The function of this feature is to shorten certain terms and reflect formality of style in scientific English. 

12. Personalia:

     This feature is found in legal English other than in scientific English. Personalia is the term given to the words that refer to people in the document. Some words in the document above refer to, e.g: "Owner", "Resident". Such words are often initially capitalized to highlight the great importance of them in legal texts. 


     Unnoticeable and unimportant in both legal and scientific English, because elegant and beautiful language is insignificant in both varieties. [/ltr]

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