E. Coseriu’s approach to text analysis

E. Coseriu’s approach to text analysis

In modern linguistic literature, one can find some other approaches to text analysis. For example, E. Coseriu considers that there are only two possible ways of text analysis and accordingly just two kinds of text linguistics.

The object under study of Text Linguistics of the first kind (or, as. he calls it “Text Linguistics proper” – die “eigentliche” Textlinguistik, “Sense Linguistics” – Linguistik des Sinnes) is texts on the “autonomous level of speech phenomena beyond any differentiation of separate languages”. The object under study of Text Linguistics of the second kind is the texts specifically structured in different languages. As far as the aim of such linguistics is to analyze some specific phenomena within the limits of separate languages E. Coseriu called this type of Text Linguistics “Text Grammar” (Textgrammatik) or “Supra-phrasal Grammar” (transphrastische Grammatic) to make it terminologically clear.

E. Coseriu’s approach to text analysis is based on fundamental theoretical ground. V. Humboldt, speaking of two trends in contrastive linguistics, emphasized that: (1) the study of a language organism requires, as far as it is possible, comprehensive comparative analysis; and (2) penetration into the development of culture requires concentration on one language and the study of the subtlest peculiarities of this language. Such approach makes the research scientifically grounded. Consequently, in order to combine these two trends of linguistics the scholar may study different, even all languages, but proceed from thorough knowledge of one or several languages.

Thus, E. Coseriu’s two kinds of Text Linguistics provide, as V. Humboldt puts it, “the width and depth of investigation” of a text.