What Is The Text Definition In Modern Linguistics

Text definition in linguistics is very different than formal definition.A text thus defined usually requires a surface of some kind on which to appear, in contradistinction to spoken language, which merely requires a physical medium, such as air, for transmission.

This requirement perhaps suggests a possible division of the procedures involved in the production of texts into two broad classes,depending on whether the surface and the materials used to mark it are man-made or not. It is perfectly possible to scratch a text ona natural surface, such as a rock face, by using a suitably shaped natural object, such as a stone or flint.

On the other hand, in many civilizations we know of, a characteristic form of progress has involved the development of specially prepared surfaces (such as parchment or paper or wax tablets) designed specifically to receive texts, and likewise the development of special instruments (such as the pen and the stylus) to mark those surfaces with a text.

Text And Textualization In Linguistics

The study of textualization requires methods which will enable us to analyse these rather complex and varied relations between text and object: but not as relations constituting a separate semiotic organization for each case or type of case.

To treat the integration of text and object as a closed system would be just as misguided as to treat the text alone as a structure isolable from that of the object. In both instances, this would be to deny the most important organizing
principle operative in textualization – namely, that the text serves communicational needs which relate to the cultural function of the object and are in that sense external to it. But such needs, it seems, vary unpredictably across cultures. On what general basis,then, might an analysis of textualization proceed.

The text is automatically contextualized by the artefact at the same time as the artefact is by the text, Neither contextualization is – or could be prior to the other, since both are manifested in one and the same
physical realization. Seeing and exploiting the communicational possibilities of that relationship was one of the greatest intellectual steps Homo sapiens ever took. Textualized artefacts are, in this sense, an entirely original creation in the history of man’s development as a maker of his own environment.

Leave a Comment