Comparative ‘iffiness’ of medical research articles

If one could know for sure how iffy things are for English-speaking doctors compared to how iffy things are for French-speaking doctors, one might reach the same conclusions as are reached in this study:

The ‘iffiness’ of medical research articles —A comparison of English if and French si,” Shirley Carter-Thomas [pictured here], in Language and discipline perspectives on academic discourse, K. Flottum (Ed.) (2007) 150-175. The author, at Université Paris Diderot, explains:

“This paper will consider the functions of English if-clauses and French si-clauses in the medical research article from a cross-linguistic perspective. Such clauses are a frequent feature in research articles in both languages. The various prototypical functions these structures afford, related for example to the non-assertive value of the operator if/si in hypothesising, its logical value (“If X then Y”) and its conditional value specifying the conditions under which a certain claim or fact holds, make them a highly valuable resource in this particular research genre. This importance in the academic research world is also linked to their role as potential polyphonic operators, opening a space for negotiation. The researcher needs both to be cooperative towards peers, recognizing the contribution of others and delimiting the import of his specific research within the community research effort, and at the same time ‘competitive’, creating a new space for the research claims presented. By building, for example, on contrasts or on mutually acceptable assumptions (“If X if admitted…”), the researcher can summon (either explicitly or implicitly) different voices into the text, whilst forcefully negotiating his/her own research claims.”

Here’s a snippet: