The definition of text linguistics

The definition of text linguistics

Text linguistics is a branch of Linguistics which studies the pecularities of text structure.

In modern linguistic literature TL is defined in different ways, for example, in “Linguistic Encyclopedic Dictionary” TL is treated as “a trend of linguistic research that studies (1) the rules according to which it is possible to construct a coherent text and (2) textual categories, that are expressed according to these rules. The author of this entry, T.M. Nikolaeva, suggested a different definition just some years before: “TL is a scientific discipline, the aim of which is to find and to construct a system of textual categories with some specific meaningful and formal units, as well as to describe the conditions of “adequate” communication.

A period of 12 years separates the two presented above definitions. No doubt, the definition of 1990 reflects the essence of linguistic analysis of a text in a more concise way. In the 1978 definition we may trace great expectations of the scholars and their belief in the possibilities of a new linguistic trend rather than in the already existing results though TL is qualified in it as a “scientific discipline”.

In foreign scientific literature ТL is defined in a similar way. Thus, H. Bussmann in the dictionary of linguistic terms writes: “TL is a linguistic discipline that deals with analysis of language regularities that exceed the limits of one sentence. The objective of TL is to define the constituting features of a text as a language unit and in this way to foundations of the theory of a text”.
In Metzler Lexikon Sprache, TL is defined as “a linguistic discipline, that studies structural peculiarities of texts, conditions of their production and interrelation, their language variability and processing” [Metzler 1993].

The common feature of all presented above definitions is an attempt to single out a separate trend within linguistics, a trend that investigates speech unities and their fragments (parts, sections, units). The question whether speech unities/texts may be treated as language signs of real value equal to phonemes, morphemes, words and sentences, is solved differently in each separate case depending on the scientific position of the scholar.