SYSTEMIC AND LINGUISTIC PRINCIPLES OF THE ANALYSIS OF TEXTS OF THE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE AUTOMOBILE MEDIA DISCOURSE IN THE ASPECT OF THE CATEGORY OF DESCRIPTIVENESS

Research article
DOI:
https://doi.org/10.18454/RULB.2022.30.10
Issue: № 2 (30), 2022
Suggested:
06.04.2022
Accepted:
11.05.2022
Published:
15.06.2022
401
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Abstract

The article is devoted to the consideration of the systemic and linguistic principles of text analysis in the aspect of the category of descriptiveness, which is one of the key categories of textuality. The relevance of the identified issues is determined by the need to find ways to analyze the ontology of this communicative unit when structuring the interaction of communicants. The purpose of the study is to identify the systemic and linguistic features of the text that allow typologizing and structuring texts of various types of discourse, on the one hand, and make it possible to facilitate the educational activities of students in the perception and production of such texts in the process of learning a foreign language, on the other hand. In conducting the study, the technique of multidimensional analysis was used.

1. Introduction

Nowadays, any person in various spheres of his or her activity deals with a great amount of information flows, widely broadcast by mass media. In the process of broadcasting information, mass media can construct a virtual reality, which is existing potentially or in the simulation form. The information is transmitted by means of ‘setting an agenda’, and discussion about a particular agenda occupies the main media scene, pushing other events into the background [9]. One of the key means of constructing the described virtual reality is the text with its semantic and structural categories of integrity, coherence, descriptiveness, situationality, intertextuality.

Considering the processes of production and functioning of a media text, the structuring of interaction of participants in speech communication turns out to be more important than the introduction of communicants into the ontological domain, since the placement of speech into the structure of the interaction of communicants changes its ontological status. The generation and functioning of a text are the sphere of interpersonal relations between a speaker (sender of this text) and a recipient (person to whom this text is addressed). With this approach, the text appears as a finite sequence of syntactic constructions passing into each other in a given space and time, the function of which is to demonstrate certain meanings. Hence, the interpretation of the media text becomes the key purpose of mass communication.

Taking into account the above-mentioned facts, the relevance of the chosen issues is determined by the need to find ways of system-language analysis of the ontology of the text as the highest communicative unit in the process of structuring the interaction of communicants. The ontology of the text is a message about an actual situation, the scope of the description of which can be different, as well as the forms of its linguistic representation, since they depend on the fragment of actual reality chosen for the message and the attitude of the speaker to it and the peculiarities of the recipient’s perception.

Within the framework of the general theory of the text, which studies the text in the circle of other texts, as well as the text inscribed in various communicative conditions, its ontological description is carried out, aimed at identifying the basic (constitutive) qualities, properties, signs that create the text and without which its existence is impossible. Such constitutive qualities include the spatio-temporal existence of the text, its coherence (otherwise, the linear deployment of linguistic units in space-time), integrity, coherence and descriptiveness [3, P. 320], [2, P. 38], [5, P. 8].

The purpose of the study is to identify systemic and linguistic constitutive features of the category of text descriptiveness, which allow typologizing and structuring texts of various types of discourse, on the one hand, and facilitate the educational activities of students in the perception and generation of such texts in the process of learning a foreign language on the other hand.

In the research, the technique of multidimensional analysis was used, which makes it possible to identify the whole set of systemic and linguistic features that make up the category of informative text, and describe their interaction in the relative-nominative, predicative, actualizing aspects.

2. Discussion

In terms of mass communication, automobile media discourse is an integral component of social interaction. It turns out to be connected with various spheres of human activity.

The texts of the automobile media discourse as a whole speech work reveal the presence of stereotypical constructions. The denotation of these texts is a certain situation designated by them, which is a fragment of actual reality dealing with autocars. The scope of the description of this situation and, accordingly, the texts may be different, as well as the forms of its linguistic representation, which depend on the fragment of reality chosen for the message and the speaker’s attitude to it.

The information about the current situation presented in the texts of the automobile media discourse is expressed explicitly and is represented by a certain repertoire of topics concentrating around the concept of ‘autocar’.

According to the observations of E.N. Bulatnikova, cultural meanings are formed due to extralinguistic factors at the present stage of the existence of the concept of "autocar" with the predominance of denotative signs. One of such meanings cultivated in society is the social significance of the autocar [1, P. 5]. For example: Mercedes-Benz: Self-braking. Self-correcting. Self-parking. Its impact is self-explanatory. The all-new Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The 2017 E-Class embodies Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to transforming not just the automobile, but mobility itself. A self-parking, self-correcting luxury sedan with intelligent advances like PRE-SAFE Impulse Side, which can anticipate a side-impact collision and reposition you to help minimize the effect, and PRE-SAFE Sound, which helps protect the ears from damaging sound should an impact occur. The revolutionary new E-Class is the very future of transportation [8, P. 35].

The above extract refers to the genre of advertising notes, which contains information about the indispensability and maneuverability of this autocar, focusing on its ‘intelligence’ (a self-parking, self-correcting luxury sedan with intelligent advances). The presence of the description elements in the analyzed text intended to create certain associations for the recipient ‘revolutionary autocar as the future of transportation’ (The revolutionary new E-Class is the very future of transportation), awakening a sense of admiration for this autocar model (Mercedes-Benz: Self-braking. Self-correcting. Self-parking. Its impact is self-explanatory) allows you to assign the text to the second level on the scale of descriptiveness. The purpose of this text is not only to inform, but also to advertise a new autocar model. The category of descriptiveness is directly related to the manifestation in the text of the degree of the known or unknown information, its predictability or unpredictability. In this case, we are dealing with specific components of the text: vocabulary, language constructions, a text norm that is easily predicted by the recipient and coincides with the ‘predictions’ of the speaker. At the same time, predictable elements are those components of the text that match both the speaker and the recipient.

The specificity of the texts of the automobile media discourse lies in a high degree of predictability. The information of the described texts turns out to be extremely clear and explicated in the dictionary structure of the text, that is, the recipient expects to meet technical terms, words or phrases used for the exact naming of various engineering concepts, designations of special objects, phenomena of the automobile industry. For example:

Hit the open road with the 3,0-litre V6 turbodiesel in the 50 TDI and the experience is pure grand tourer. The engine is mechanically refined and impressively quiet, no doubt aided by the fact that the vehicle is stuffed to the gills with sound-deadening material and thick glazing, making the A7 a serene cruiser. Weighing in at a scale-creaking 1,9 tonnes, the A7 is not exactly light, but it certainly doesn’t feel leaden. Swift directional changes are met with some expected body roll, but the chassis quickly straightens itself out and the ride – something that invoked the ire of journalists hailing from parts no doubt paved with billiard-table smooth blacktop – is impressively composed, even when contending with the low-profile tyres fitted to our S line-equipped test car and some notoriously patchy road surfaces heading out into the countryside.

The steering, although responsive, is on the slightly leaden side and becomes especially tight when the Drive Select system is hooked into its most dynamic setting. Thankfully, the A7’s all-wheel-drive setup’s ability to push torque in a balanced fashion, both laterally and longitudinally, means that the ponderous nose-heaviness that sometimes afflicted the previous autocar has been largely addressed [8, P. 34].

In the above text, technical terms are highlighted in bold, as well as special concepts of the automobile industry.

Automobile terminology is a well-defined subsystem within the general lexical system of the English language and, moreover, a system that is visible and countable. Especially since automobile terminology as a subsystem in turn splits into lexico-semantic groups according to thematic features: bodywork, chassis, carrier, engine, etc. [4, P. 121-122]. For English texts of the automobile media discourse, the following types of terms are the most frequent:  

- complex terms,

- terminological combinations,

- abbreviation,

- simple terms.

Often used complex automobile terms are formed, as a rule, according to the model of attributive compounding, which means that the second component in them is the carrier of the generic feature, which includes the main meaning of the term (antecedent/main noun). The first component clarifies the value of the main component, being the carrier of a feature, quality or property (attribute/determinant). Both the first and second components are significant in lexical terms. The connection between them is revealed as subordinate. For example: flywheel; gearcase, gearbox; handbrake; seatbelt; dashboard [8].

After L.B. Tkachyova, we understand terminological combinations as multicomponent, semantically integrated combinations that are formed by combining two, three or more elements [6, P. 27]. For example: Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control; Windshield Wiper and Washer; Conventional Truck; Road Tractor/ Bolster-Type Truck; Rear-view window; Sport utility vehicle [10].

The texts of the automobile discourse contain a large number of abbreviations that are used to improve the perception of information and facilitate its memorization. For example: ABS, Antiblocker System; ACV, Air Control Valve; AMP, Amplifier; TRACS, Traction Control System [10].

The deciphering of these and similar abbreviations are complex words and terminological phrases.

Simple terms are words with zero word-forming morphemes. For example: (vessel) tank; tire; brake.

Terms like the ones above can form the core of the informative content of the texts of the automobile media discourse. They are components of complex words, phrases, and serve as centers of word-formation nests.

Terminology is an important component of the category of descriptiveness. It represents systemically organized fragments of the socially significant concept ‘autocar’.

The texts of the automobile media discourse are characterized by the fact that they often use constructions of definitions, qualifications, classifications, which turn out to be predictable. For example:

With an off-road heritage spanning 65 years, the Land Cruiser nameplate represents outstanding quality and reliability. No wonder, then, that it’s available in more countries than any other Toyota. The new Land Cruiser Prado enhances this standing with more modern exterior styling; a more sophisticated, comfortable and higher-quality interior; and improvements to its user-friendliness, on-road and -off.

SO, WHAT’S NEW? The Prado range has traditionally consisted of two grades, TX and VX. For the first time, a third grade, called VX-L, has been added to the model line-up. Design-wise, the Prado features a new look that is visually more upmarket, yet which maintains three core strengths essential to the vehicle’s go-anywhere credentials: total practicality, with headlamps and cooling openings positioned to maximise protection and wading depth; total durability, with the powertrain and all functional parts well protected; and total capability, with a tight turning circle and good ground clearance, essential for the most demanding off-road driving conditions [7].

The analyzed text contains a message about facts, events occurring in actual reality. Such texts are predictable to the maximum extent. Minimal information revealing the subject of the text is apprehensive to any native speaker of this language. The information is presented as a strict logical deployment of the problematic situation in the field of the latest concepts of off-road vehicles. The text begins with the designation of the fact that the Land Cruiser has a 65-year history of outstanding quality and reliability, then the question arises: what is the new version of the Land Cruiser Prado structurally superior to its predecessors. This is followed by a comparison of this autocar model with the previous Toyota model range. The data confirming the original thesis are given.

 

3. Conclusion

In the course of the study, it was found that the ontology of a media text is a message about an actual situation. The volume of description and forms of linguistic representation of which are different, since they depend on the fragment of reality chosen for the message, as well as the speaker’s attitude to it and the peculiarities of the recipient’s perception.

As the analysis has shown, the ontological description of a media text constitutes its spatio-temporal existence, coherence, integrity, situationality, and descriptiveness. At the same time, the category of descriptiveness refers to one of the basic categories of textuality, which allow typologizing and structuring the texts of the automobile media discourse on the basis of relative-nominative, predicative, actualizing aspects.

The study shows that the category of descriptiveness is one of the interrelated textual categories, which manifests itself in the coordinate system ‘speaker – text – recipient’ and which is verbally explicated.

As part of research, it was found that the denotata of the texts of the automotive media discourse is a certain situation of actual reality, one way or another related to autocars. At the same time, the analyzed texts are characterized by a high degree of predictability. They use technical terms that represent systemically organized fragments of the socially significant concept ‘autocar’, and constructions of definition, qualification, classification.

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