Text linguistics

Topics: Linguistics, Pragmatics, Exophora Pages: 5 (1165 words) Published: May 24, 2014
Mukachevo State University

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Text linguistics

Prepared by Kamenkova Nastia

2014

Text Linguistics
A text is an extended structure of syntactic units i.e. text as super-sentence such as words, groups, and clauses and textual units that is marked by both coherence among the elements and completion .A non-text consists of random sequences of linguistic units such as sentences, paragraphs, or sections in any temporal and/or spatial extension. A naturally occurring manifestation of language, i.e. as a communicative language event in a context. The surface text is the set of expressions actually used; these expressions make some knowledge explicit, while other knowledge remains implicit, though still applied during processing. A term used in linguistics to refer to any passage- spoken or written, of whatever length, that does form a unified whole. A text is a unit of language in use. It is not a grammatical unit, like a clause or a sentence; and it is not defined by its size. A text is best regarded as a semantic unit; a unit not of form but of meaning. A text is made up of sentences, but there exist separate principles of text-construction, beyond the rules for making sentences. Text is a set of mutually relevant communicative functions, structured in such a way as to achieve an overall rhetorical purpose. Text linguists generally agree that text is the natural domain of language, but they still differ in their perspectives of what constitutes a text. This variance is mainly due to the different methods of observations of different linguists, and as such, the definition of text is not yet concrete. Text linguistics is the study of text as a product (text grammar) or as a process (theory of text). The text-as-a-product approach is focused on the text cohesion, coherence, topical organization, illocutionary structure and communicative functions; the text-as-a-process perspective studies the text production, reception and interpretation . Text can be understood as an instance of (spoken or written) language use (an act of parole), a relatively self-contained unit of communication. As a ´communicative occurrence´ it meets seven criteria of textuality (the constitutive principles of textual communication): cohesion, coherence, intentionality, acceptability, informativity, situationality and intertextuality, and three regulative principles of textual communication: efficiency, effectiveness and appropriateness Constitutive Principles of Textual Communication

Cohesion (see esp. Halliday and Hasan 1976) is the way in which linguistic items of which texts are constituted are meaningfully interconnected in sequences. Cohesion may be of four types: reference, ellipsis, conjunction and lexical organization. Reference (realized by nouns, determiners, personal and demonstrative pronouns or adverbs) either points out of the text to a real world item (i.e., to its denotate), hence exophoric reference (deixis: Can you see that?), or refers to an item within the text, hence endophoric reference. The two possible directions of endophoric reference are backward (anaphoric r.; direct anaphora: I met a man. He was wearing ..., indirect anaphora: It is a solid house. The walls are thick ...) or forward (cataphoric r.: ... the house whose walls are thick); in the case of a reference to an item of which there is (in the given situation) only one instance, we talk about homophora (e.g. Place the books on the table please). The relationship between two items in which both refer to the same person or thing and one stands as a linguistic antecedent of the other is called coreference (compare He saw himself in the mirror with He saw him in the mirror). Ellipsis, i.e., omission of something referred to earlier, is an instance of textual anaphora (e.g., Have some more). Conjunction, enhanced esp. by syntactic (adverbials – subjuncts, conjuncts, disjuncts; pronouns, metalingual connectors, etc.) and...
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