Superstructure of Scientific Paper in Russian

Leonid Ivanov, Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of the Russian Language, Moscow

A relevant typology of the types of specialized texts represents an important prerequisite for making the information interchange in specialized communications more efficient. In Russian linguistics the typology of specialized texts belongs to less developed branch, in contrast to the Russian literary science where there exist more or less detailed typologies of literary forms (zhanry). For the specialized texts in Russian such a typology is still a desideratum. In modern Russian linguistics, there are a few generalized approaches, which seem to be applicable to build a basis for such a typology (T. Shmeleva and Yu. Fedosyuk).

The most promising base for such a typology is the idea of T. van Dijk on the ‘superstructure’ of a text as a representation of its genre-specific characteristics. T. van Dijk developed superstructure schemes for certain generalized types of texts (narration, argumentation) as well as for some subordinated types (news column in a newspaper, psychological experiment paper, etc.).

To my opinion the superstructures have the highest differentiating power on the upper and medium abstraction levels of text types (narration as a representation of the upper and scientific paper without further specification as a representation of the medium levels) but they are less (if at all) applicable to show a difference between specific forms within one and the same cluster of genres/types of texts (i.e. difference between agreements, contracts, pacts and treaties – soglasheniya, kontrakty, dogovory i pakty). The superstructure schemes may be constructed out of the analysis of a sufficient number of text samples (usually some two or three dozens of a representatively selected samples of a respective text types).

In the paper a constructed superstructure scheme of one of the most important text types of the specialized communications - a scientific paper is being examined.

As an additional result of a superstructure oriented analysis a more detailed classification of a subtypes of a respective text type may be built. Such a subordinated classification of Russian scientific articles is being represented in the paper as well.