Discursive Functions of Consensus and Dissension in Linguistic Theses

Paulina Meza, Universidad de La Serena - Prodicyt, Centro de Investigación, Chile
Omar Sabaj, Universidad de La Serena - Prodicyt, Centro de Investigación, Chile

Paulina Meza y Omar Sabaj, 2016: "Funciones Discursivas de Consenso y Disenso en Tesis de Lingüística", Onomázein 33, 385-411.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.33.23

In order to strategically position an object of study, the authors of a thesis must balance two discursive functions: on the one hand, they have to recognize and give credit to the studies that make up the theoretical reference points within which their proposal is framed (consensus/consensus view), and, on the other hand, in order to be original, they must differentiate themselves from those same studies (dissension). Starting from a proposed functional model, we analyze a corpus consisting of 36 linguistics theses. The results show that the functions of consensus and dissension make up a scant percentage of the theses (6.19%). Moreover, the consensus view manifests itself in a greater variety of functions and is, by far, much more frequent than dissension. In conclusion, the results can be explained by the restrictions imposed by the thesis genre. The findings of this study have implications for academic literacy in higher education.