Writing across languages and cultures: Focus on linguistic and cultural thought patterns

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This study was conducted to investigate and interpret differences between native speakers of two language backgrounds - Arabic and Spanish writing in English. "Information about such differences may contribute to contrastive rhetoric research, which maintains that written first language texts by authors from different language groups vary because cultural conventions dictate the choice of linguistic and structural aspects of discourse. Therefore, this case-study aims at analyzing the narrative texts of native speakers of two language backgrounds: Arabic and Spanish. This study argues that if we, really, accept English as a global language, and diversity of cultures, we have to better understand the different composing conventions of different cultures; otherwise, written communication among people of different cultures may break down. The subjects were ten foreign graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. They belonged to two different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The data were taken from (1) a questionnaire; (2) writing a narrative text, and (3) individual interviews. The data were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Results were obtained and conclusions were made regarding the linguistic, cognitive, and cultural aspects of narrative writing in English.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)178-187
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Language and Literature
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015


    • Cognitive and cultural aspects of writing
    • Contrastive analysis
    • Narrative writing

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Literature and Literary Theory


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