39. Fifteen years ago, one John Potin, French-man, then Servant to my Lord Culpepper, got a fall, which caused him a heavy pain in the breast for a while. A month after, he being a shooting, a Musquet did burst in his hands, which gave so violent a recoyle against his Right side, that it made him spit blood immediately, and continued for six months. One year after he began to feel a pulsation on that side, and then he spit blood again, which continued ever since, but only in the Spring and the Fall. (Lafage 1700)
40. The correspondent's father, my friend Dr. BENNETT, F.L.S., being in London when these specimens had arrived, I dissected them in his presence, but found not any ovum in either uterus. The ovaria showed one or more enlarged ovisacs. (Owen 1880)
41. All the Papavers are Narcotick. The Esulæ and Tithymali are Cathartick; tho' both these are Lactescent, yet they differ from those which are Pappescent also. All the Malva's are chiefly Emollient; The Pentaphyllous kind astringent; as are also the Plantains. (Blair 1720)
42. In the majority of species which have been examined, pigmentation in any given part of a plant is due to one anthcyanin only. There are, however, a certain number of exceptions, in which a second constituent is present – usually in small proportion. (Lawrence 1940)
40There is evidently a wealth of information here, and I can do little more by way of conclusion than to summarize the main points.
41Experiments are usually presented as narratives, and in this case they are expressed in the past. This occurs in the physical sciences throughout the period, and in the biological sciences from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. Exceptions occur when the experiment is expressed either as a general procedure, or as a recipe, the latter being usually the experiments of others; in these cases it is the present that is used.
42The description of equipment is usually in the present, but past forms occur after 1900. The observation and description of phenomena, usually in the biological sciences, is expressed in the past.
43Results and discussion are usually presented in the present. Intratextual references are invariably in the present. Intertextual references tend to use the present, but there is some variation, particularly after 1900.
44Mathematical calculation and modelling, which play an important role in the physical sciences from the late nineteenth century onwards, are expressed in the present.
45General narrative is, as one would expect, in the past, and statements of a general nature are, again as one would expect, in the present.
46Finally, I would like to point out that in this study one can see these scientific authors using the resources of the language to make choices which depend on the changing historical and scientific context in which they found themselves. This study therefore provides a specific example of the way in which language is dependent on, and conditioned by, the context in which it is produced, and the fact that the context is essential for understanding language and the way it is used.
Lafage 1700: This article is written in the third person, so it is not clear whether it was written by Lafage himself or by some other anonymous author.
Desaguliers 1720: John Theophilus Desaguliers 1683-1744. Born in France, came to England at the age of eleven. Described by the Encyclopaedia Britannica as a “British inventor”.
Cavallo 1780: Tiberius Cavallo, born Naples 1749, died London 1809. Came to England in 1771.
Herschel 1800: Sir Frederick William (originally Friedrich Wilhelm) Herschel, born Hanover 1738, died Slough 1822. Came to England in 1757.
Gassiot 1840: John Peter Gassiot 1797-1877.
Matthiessen 1860: A. Matthiessen (co-author M. Holzmann).
De La Rue 1860: Warren De La Rue, born Guernsey 1815, died London 1889 (co-author Hugo Müller).
Horai 1980: K. Horai, one of six co-authors, the others being J.L. Winkler Jr., S.J. Keihm, M.G. Langseth, J.A. Fountain and E.A. West. All have institutional addresses in the USA.
47Thus of thirty authors, three were born outside England (plus perhaps Matthiessen, for whom I have no information), but all were permanent immigrants to England, one of them from the age of eleven. This would seem to minimize any possible non-native speaker influence.