Research article
Issue: № 4 (12), 2017


The article considers linguo-pragmatic aspects of the study of Russian public academic speech, including linguocognitive mechanisms of the formation of oral utterance. The research is based on the analysis of original records of this type of speech. It is shown that public academic speech should be studied in the complex of its extralinguistic features, situational-thematic structure and genre forms realization. The principles and methods of research can be used for linguo-pragmatic descriptions of other spheres of oral communication of contemporary Russian society.


In modern Russian literary language there is a special functional kind of speech, which is used in the professional and scientific sphere of communication. It is called  by researchers in different ways: scientific style, language of science, language for special purposes, professional (special) language, academic discourse, public academic speech, etc.  

The study of the genres of public academic speech  was previously conducted solely on the basis of book-written sources, and the description of the features of the oral form of the academic  discourse was carried out in isolation from the structure of the lingual personality and the cognitive-semantic aspect of the individual's speech activity. Studies of the linguistic and structural features of the genre forms of public academic speech and professional communication in its connection with the phenomena of extralinguistic reality and sociolinguistic factors have practically not been carried out.

The research hypothesis is that the description of the genre-forming features of public academic speech  can serve as a basis for constructing models of speech genres and revealing the cognitive-semantic mechanisms of their text generation. Based on the preliminary study of the material, we assume that the speech models of the genre are systemic and ordered. For this reason we can identify   their basic elements and structural modifications, depending on the influence of sociolinguistic and extralinguistic factors.         

To this day in  Russian and foreign studies of similar textual material on the basis of  academic discourse, no parallels have been drawn between linguistic and non-linguistic factors. Obviously, therefore, it was difficult to establish the relationship between the intentional and structural-semantic plan for generating an utterance in the context of a certain genre of  academic  speech. The novelty of the problem also manifests itself in the anthropocentric and interdisciplinary approach that we propose simultaneously to the study of oral academic texts within the framework of socio- and pragma- linguistics.

Methods and principles of the study

The study is planned to be performed on the basis of audio and video records of Russian public academic speeches, not completely studied from the point of view of the structural and semantic features and genre typology.

The methodology of this study is determined by its main purpose - the study of the genre repertoire of  public academic speeches based on the materials of their text  transcripts. We take into account the specific functioning and interrelation of their structural-semantic, lexical and prosodic properties in the discourse of the lingual personality. The research is based on the results of a linguistic description of the phonetic features of oral academic speech [2], including its intonational division and the accentually prosodic aspect of the utterance [5, 6].

Such anthropocentric interdisciplinary approach assumes the use of the principle of linguistic expansionism, that is, the attraction in purely linguistic research of information from such fields of knowledge as socio- and pragma- linguistics, corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics and functional stylistics. The study of the structural-semantic and composition-stylistic features of oral academic  texts explains the use of the functional method of investigation.  The need to compare the variants of oral texts of different genres with written analogs in the discourse of the lingual personality requires extensive use of the comparative method and principles of typological analysis. It is obvious that the appeal in the study to cultural-linguistic and social factors will result in an explanatory description.


The written form of the language of science is sufficiently well studied and described. Thus, the linguistic features of the scientific style received detailed coverage in special functional-stylistic studies, for example, in the works  of M.N. Kozhina, A.N. Vasilieva, O.A. Krylova, O.D. Mitrofanova, E.I. Motina, L.P. Klobukova, N.M. Razinkina, and others.

At the present stage of the study of academic  discourse, the analysis of genre forms [17]  and various sorts of discursive markers contributing to the realization of connectivity and linearity of discourse [12] is in the focus of attention of researchers. The interest in studying the ways of representing and exchanging scientific knowledge specific to a particular culture (for eхample, Russian and Western European), methods of argumentation and logical organization of the text is becoming  more apparent [13]. [14], [15], [16].

The oral form of academic speech is studied to a lesser degree than written scientific communication.  In Russian linguistics, the study of oral literary speech is connected with the works of prof. O.A. Lapteva, who led the creation of collective monograph «Modern Russian oral academic speech» [9, 10].   Later the manual "Training of oral academic speech: theory and practice" was published [4]. Oral public academic  speech here is considered as a special functional variety of the Russian literary language, which is an oral intellectualized communication with a wide audience on the topic of the specialty [3, Р.16].

The variety of this type of oral literary speech is caused by differences in the themes and genres of messages,  individual speaking skills, the tasks of communication, etc.  Thus, to study oral academic  and professional speech is necessary in interaction of extralinguistic features and genre forms of the realization of speech. The theory of speech genres is a practical model of communication that takes into account such important parameters of communication as the situation, sphere, communication style, intentional factor, form of speech, ways of language text processing, strategies and tactics of communication.

It should be noted that in publications of  Russian and foreign scientists the emphasis is on the genre-forming characteristics and typology of the oral publicly addressed monologue [7, 8]. Also, the concept of the genre norm of speech is defined in a certain functional variety of language, including the scientific sphere of communication [1].  However, there are also publications in which attempts are made to identify the structural and compositional genre-forming features of the text and their semantic interpretation on the material of  public academic speech of a certain genre - lecture, report, message, discussion [4]. A special depth of analysis is the work of the Czech linguist Vl. Barnet, in which the concept of the genre norm is defined and the classification of the genres of Russian public academic speech is given [1].


We  study the genres of oral academic speech, taking into account a single communicative-semantic continuum of the discourse of the lingual personality. At the same time, comparisons are made of verbal  academic  texts recorded in the transcripts and variants of their existing written analogues. In order to determine what distinguishes the oral text from the "original" written, it is enough to compare the two versions of the linguistic design of some scientific information presented by the lecturer  in the oral  form and by the same author - but in writing.

The written version of the text is characterized by strict logical construction, conciseness and clarity of information, an impersonal form of presentation, absence of redundant repetitions and explanations, as well as the lack  of direct appeals to the addressee.

The oral version of the lecture contains a large number of oral-colloquial elements: direct appeals to listeners, dialogization of speech in the form of question-answer phrases in the formulation of the problem, pronominal-verb forms indicating the speaker, segments of the text containing duplicate information (repetition, clarifications and explanations).

Language features of the structural organization of public academic text are due to the factor of addressing the oral utterance to a specific audience in a certain time period of speech that does not take place when written information is presented. Oral academic  text (lecture, report, message, presentation) is always focused on the optimal delivery of information to a specific addressee and establishing contact with it in the process of speech interaction (hence the dialogic character of the text is characteristic even for public academic  monologue). This communicative orientation of the text in the public academic discourse is expressed by a set of specific linguistic  (lexico-syntactic) markers, which in speech serve as semantic reference points and facilitate the perception of the text by ear.

These  linguistic markers,  include:

- constructions performing the function of speech contact with the addressee (addressing markers), for example: Но если б вы спросили сегодня любого ученого, что есть вид; Я на этот вопрос постараюсь ответить двояко; Мы уже с вами отлично знаемВот если мы на этот вопрос ответим ясно и четко, нам сразу станет понятно… ;

- constructions that emphasize the attention of the addressee on one or another aspect of the message (markers of importance), for example: Прежде всего я хотел бы  обратить ваше внимание на одно обстоятельство;

- constructions that send the addressee to some components of the compositional-logical text structure (orientation markers), for example: Что же такое вид? Это проблема очень крупная…; Почему же идет речь только о виде? Почему только вид создает проблему, а другие таксоны проблемы не создают?

The above  mentioned linguistic markers  are inherent mainly in the oral  academic  text and are not characteristic of written presentation. They participate in the  prosodic division of the sounding message and the expression of the semantic links between its components. They ensure the structural integrity of the oral  public academic text and its special rhetorical orientation (persuasion of the addressee and impact on him).


The difference in language means in the formation of written and oral text is explained by the inclusion of the factor of physical time in the course of oral speech. This factor determines the linear nature of the oral text and the depth of the operative memory at its production / reception.  The progressive nature of the development of discourse contributes to the addition of elements of utterance, previously absent in the speaker's intentions.

Thus, for the linguo-pragmatic analysis of oral academic discourse, it is important to take into account 1) the linguistic design of the speaker's intentions in constructing the utterance and 2) the phonetic and intonation aspect of the division of the flow of speech. Particularly important is the prospect of creating a body of texts of the natural Russian academic speech for further study and linguistic analysis. The proposed principles and methods of research can be used in pragmatic linguistic studies of other spheres of speech communication of contemporary Russian society.


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