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Original scientific paper

Writer visibility in L1 vs. L2 argumentative writing: Use of the fi rst person personal pronouns in Croatian

Lidija Cvikić orcid id ; University of Zagreb, Faculty of Teacher Education,
Antonia Ordulj ; University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

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Developing writing encompasses acquiring linguistic features, register and style related to text type
and genre, and learning to write means learning to express oneself in written form. Involvement of
the author in the text, or writer visibility, is characterized by fi rst and second person reference, the
speaker’s mental processes, monitoring of information fl ow, emphatic particles, etc. (Petch–Tyson
1998). Various studies showed that writer visibility depends on discourse type, cultural conventions,
language profi ciency, writer’s L1, etc. (Ädel 2001; Petch–Tyson 1998; Rodríguez, Vázquez
and Guzmán 2011; Zolotova 2014). Th is paper investigates writer visibility in Croatian L1 and L2
argumentative writing. Th e main research question is how Croatian L1 and L2 writers diff er in the
use of I–perspective compared to we–perspective, both quantitatively and qualitatively. For the purpose of this paper argumentative essays in Croatian as L1 and L2 (N=80) are analyzed for their frequencies and discourse functions. Th e results show that first person personal pronouns are used
more frequently in Croatian L2 than in L1 writing. However, only the overuse of I–form is proven
to be statistically signifi cant. Th e qualitative analysis shows that in Croatian L1 and L2 writing,
the pronoun I is most frequently used to express discourse functions of writer’s stance and writer’s
experience, whereas the pronoun we is used for the same purpose (presenting a general claim), thus
to a much lower frequency. Besides similarities of L1 and L2 writing, the study shows the tendency
of non–native speakers to use certain discourse function more frequently. Th e obtained results gave
more insight into writing in Croatian, and confi rm cultural, linguistic, and language learning influences to writing in both L1 and L2


writing, writer visibility, personal pronouns, Croatian as L1 and L2

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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