The text in a 'broad' and 'narrow' understanding

The text in a ‘broad’ and ‘narrow’ understanding

The problem of limits and volume (length) of a text also presents some difficulty. As has been mentioned before, a text is defined as a whole speech product (целое речевое произведение), its part or extract. O.I. Moskal’s’ka distinguishes two main objects of TL which are often referred to by one and the same word “text”: 1) a whole speech product that is a text in a broad meaning of a word or a macro-text, and 2) supra-phrasal unity (a complex syntactic whole) — a text in a narrow meaning of a word or a micro-text. Besides, according to her words, the limits (boundaries) of the complex syntactic whole and the whole speech product may coincide.

O.I. Moskal’s’ka treats the whole speech product and the supra-phrasal unity as units of different order. The supra-phrasal unity is a syntactic notion. It’s a unit of syntax that forms a specific level as regards a sentence. The whole speech product is a social-speech unit. The supra-phrasal unity is primarily the object of text grammar, though grammatical characteristics are inherent in the whole speech product as well. Nevertheless O.I. Moskal’s’ka in her book “Text Grammar” uses the term “text”, while analysing the microtext, i.e. supra-phrasal unity.

V.B. Kasevych expresses his point of view about broad and narrow understanding of a text too: “A text in a broad meaning is (equal to) speech, the product of speaking (for sound language). A text in a narrow meaning is a unit of speech, which is characterized by integrity and inner coherence, and as such may be separated from the preceding and subsequent texts (if a text is not isolated). A text in a narrow meaning is the largest constructive unit, although, as it was said before, a text may be realized even through one utterance and an utterance — through one word.

Z.Ya. Turaeva and I..R. Galperin prefer the narrow definition of a text, according to which a text is a product of speech fixed in writing (in a written form). Thus, they leave the oral text out of the circle of linguistic research.

In the definitions of foreign linguists, we come across both broad and narrow treatment of the phenomenon in question. They reflect different scholars’ views on a text as a .central notion of linguistics and outline different aspects of text interpretation. When emphasis is laid upon intra-textual criteria (i.e. grammatical, structural), a text is considered to be a coherent sequence of sentences connected by means of grammatical (mostly pronominal) cohesive devices and possessing a relative thematic completeness. When extra-textual criteria are made prominent, text is regarded as a product of speech activity, possessing a distinct communicative function.

The authors of some recent: approaches to text description prefer to treat internal and external textual characteristics as a complex unity. They define a text as a cognitively, grammatically, illocutionary and (when needed) prosodically structured result of a certain (oral or written) action of the speaker. a result. which presents a correlation of context and addressee, a result that serves as a basis for cognitively and intentionally structured actions of the recipient. Thus, wide conception of a text presupposes involvement into analysis, while narrow conception presupposes exclusion from the analysis of other semiotic systems existing in text structures alongside with language sign system (i.e. gestures, body language, or symbols, formulae or pictures).

Such diversity of viewpoints on the essence of a text proves that this notion is rather complicated. Different criteria that underlie broad and narrow conceptions presuppose different approaches to text analysis.