Correlation between form, content and function of a text

Correlation between form, content and function of a text

It seems that not much reflection is necessary to answer the question about the correlation between form, content, and function of a text. The easiest way is to use one of the authoritative linguistic dictionaries and the definition of each of these notions will contain reference to at least one of two other notions. Let’s take, for example, the Dictionary of Linguistic Terms by O.Akhmanova. One of the meanings of the term ‘form’ is ‘peculiar inner organization of the language, which determines a specific connection of the given content with the given expression’.

Similarly, the word ‘content’ is interpreted as ‘inner (semantic, notional) side of language units, in relation to which their external (sound, graphic) side acquires characteristics of expression’. Accordingly, ‘function’ is understood as ‘purpose, role fulfilled by the unit (element) of language during its reproduction in speech’.

Thus, a text has two interdependent sides – form and content, besides it is intended for the fulfillment of a certain function. We have come across a similar correlation, but in conformity with those approaches, that are used for the description of texts. As it was mentioned above, W.Heinemann singles out three approaches to text description:

1) strictly syntactic;
2) semantic;
3) communicative-pragmatic.

Such differentiation corresponds not only to singling out three constituents of semiotics – syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, but in fact corresponds also to the researcher’s orientation on the formal, semantic and functional peculiarities of a text.