Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This study is about whether academic writing in every language is marked by nominaliza-tion, and what role nominalization plays in academic writing. Since there has been no study that analyzes Thai academic writing specifically, this study aims to analyze academic writing in Thai with a focus on nominalization and find out what function nominalization performs in this genre. In order to find out whether nominalization is an outstanding feature of academic writing, I compared this genre with editorials with reference to nominalization. The data is composed of a number of academic articles and a number of editorials, which are 51,163 and 71,267 words long, respectively. A quantitative analysis was done by counting the occurrences of kaan-nominalization (e.g., kaan-kin 'eating', kaan-phatthana 'development') in academic papers and editorials. Also, a qualitative analysis was done in order to interpret the function of nominalization in academic writing. The results of the analysis confirms the claim that nominalization is a marker of academic writing. The data shows that it occurs more frequently in academic papers than in editorials—5 vs. 2.6 out of 100 words. To the question why academic writing needs nominalization, the answer is that nominalization creates the quality of detachment and objectivity, which are necessary in writing academic papers. In academic writing, even though the author argues for a certain point he believes in, he cannot be biased. In other words, he has to be detached. Furthermore, what is stated in academic papers is based on closely-investigated knowledge, and in order to present the knowledge with credibility, the author must have objective stance. The findings of this study provide a better understanding of the importance of nominalization in academic writing.

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