Exploring dominance-linked reflexive metadiscourse in moderated group discussions

Jamie McKeown, Hans J. Ladegaard

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the use of reflexive metadiscourse by moderators and participants seeking to achieve communicative dominance in moderated group discussions. Specifically, it explores how the use of what we call dominance-linked reflexive metadiscourse contributes to effective group performance (defined here as the achievement of sustained, on-topic interaction amongst research participants). In doing so, we identify and map the communicative functions of reflexive metadiscourse onto a stage model of group development. We identify three key stages in a typical group life cycle where dominance-linked reflexive metadiscourse plays a seminal role in the outcome of a given moderated group discussion (i.e. the forming, transition, and performing stages). In adopting a qualitative, micro-interactional and contextually sensitive approach, we question the role of high explicitness as identification criteria of reflexive metadiscourse in spoken data. We conclude with a discussion of the practical and methodological implications arising out of this paper and make recommendations for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Dominance
  • Explicitness
  • Metadiscourse
  • Reflexive approach
  • Spoken language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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