ABSTRACT. Thought presentation is considered the means of revealing an actant’s inner world. However, a close look at popular science narratives of discovery suggests that presentation of thought serves to introduce scientific hypotheses and to announce discoveries – discourse acts that are outwardly oriented. The communicative nature of thought presentation in the narratives manifests through verb patterns observed in reporting clauses. Such an approach is seen as a mitigating strategy by means of which the authors renounce access to the inner worlds of scientists they describe. This observation points to a greater distinction between the functions of thought presentation in fiction and in non-fiction than is common to assume. The study compares data from popular science narratives of discovery with presented discourse in fiction and non-fiction examined by the Semino and Short (2004) corpus analysis.

Keywords: presented discourse; presented thought; popular science; narrative; discovery; non-fiction

How to cite: Pilkington, Olga A. (2018). “Presented Discourse in Popular Science Narratives of Discovery: Communicative Side of Thought Presentation,” Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 17: 7–28.

Received 30 December 2016 • Received in revised form 20 February 2017
Accepted 20 February 2017 • Available online 10 March 2017


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English Department,
Dixie State University

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