Text Analysis Book

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O.N. Grishina

Text Analysis

Guide for 5th Year Students

Moscow 2000

Text Analysis Guide (for 5th Year Students)

© 2000 by O.N. Grishina. All rights reserved.
Preface
Until quite recently linguists treated language as a fixed code - a more or less rigid system of interrelated elements. These elements were traditionally classified as phonological (the level of sounds), morphological (the level of word parts), lexical (the level of words) and syntactic (the level of sentences). About forty years ago the focus of linguists' attention shifted to the problem of verbal communication. The obvious fact that we do not communicate in sounds, words or even sentences brought about a new wave of research. The notion of TEXT came to the forefront of linguistic analysis. Text was defined as a string of utterances (sentences, phrases) arranged according to some definite rules - semantic, syntactic and pragmatic. Another term widely used to define a similar notion was DISCOURSE. For many Western scholars these terms are interchangeable. They use them more or less indiscriminately applying to both, written and spoken texts. In the Russian school of thought (namely, in the theory of text worked out by Professor Iliah R. Galperin) the notion of text is confined to a written speech performance which communicates specific types of information and has the categories of cohesion, modality, continuum, completeness and others. This textbook offers a collection of texts from various spheres of communication: Chapter 1: ESSAYS (Journalistic Style), Chapter 2: SHORT STORIES (Belles-lettres Style) and Chapter 3: Popular SCIENTIFIC (ACADEMIC) ARTICLES (Scientific Prose Style). Each type of text is studied in the corresponding chapter along the lines of 1) comprehension and vocabulary, 2) analysis, 3) discussion and 4) writing. The greatest emphasis is given to the analysis part, which focuses on the semantic, compositional, logical, emotional, pragmatic and other aspects of the text. This part gives short surveys of relevant theoretical issues and refers the students to their prior experience in the theory of the language. It also offers questions that help to apply theory to practical analysis. Each section contains seven texts: the initial texts are intended for thorough study; the main points of analysis are then summed up in the list of Guidelines. Texts given after the Guidelines can be studied independently. The textbook is supplemented by an Appendix (texts for oral Russian-English translation), a Glossary of Literary and Stylistic Terms and a list of References. This manual has grown out of graduate courses in Text Analysis that I have been teaching in Moscow State Linguistic University for many years. My first debt of gratitude is therefore to my students – for their insight, enthusiasm and support. A special thank-you goes to my friends and colleagues who helped in the preparation of this manual: to professor K.M.Iriskhanova who talked me into the project, to professor E.G.Belyayevskaya and associate professor N.A.Zmiyevskaya who provided valuable suggestions and comments, to Helen McEvansoneya who reviewed parts of the manuscript, and to all faculty members who share the task of teaching Text Analysis. Contents

Preface
Chapter 1: Essay
Text # 1
Comprehension and Vocabulary
Analysis:
Focus on Composition
Focus on Coherence
Logical Focus
Discussion
Text #2
Emotional Focus
Pragmatic Focus
Discussion
Writing
Guidelines for Analysing an Essay
Text #3
Text #4
Text #5
Text #6
Text #7

Chapter 2: Short Story
Text #1
Comprehension and Vocabulary
Analysis:
Focus on Composition
Focus on Discourse Types (Description, Narration, Commentary, Dialogue)
Discussion
Text #2
Comprehension and Vocabulary
Analysis:...
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