By Gary Provost

This can be the single consultant that anybody who writes--whether pupil, company individual, or expert writer--should wear the table beside pencil, pen, typewriter, or be aware processor. choked with specialist guidance and a wealth of instructive examples, this important, easy-to-use instruction manual might help resolve any and all writing difficulties.

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Lyons (1977: 5) refers to this as text reflexivity, or 'the capacity of natural language to refer to or describe itself, calling attention to the idea that parts of a text can function to organize the discourse and help make the message comprehensible rather than refer to the world. Interpersonal metadiscourse, on the other hand, 'can help us express our personalities and our reactions to the propositional content of our texts and characterize the interaction we would like to have with our readers about that content'.

Following Malinowski, then, we can say that metadiscourse is not secondary but specialized. It is how we organize out texts and construct a stance to what we say. It is what engages receivers and encourages them to accept our positions. Essentially, this position is implied in Sinclair's (1981) discussion of 'planes of discourse' mentioned in Chapter 1. Sinclair's account offers a dynamic view of how language works by suggesting how we create text by setting out our material and negotiating relationships so others will understand it.

The potential multifunctionality of items is illustrated in the examples below and will be taken up in more detail in Chapter 3. Here the 24 Definitions, issues and classifications italicized word in (a) below functions as metadiscourse, while in (b) it does not: (5) (a) I want to agree about the date, then we can talk about the venue. (b) I was waiting an hour then he told me the train had already left. (6) (a) It's possible that he just forgot to collect it. (b) It's possible to see the peaks of Snowdonia on a clear day.

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