Text types

The term text type is a central concept of text linguistics. It is based on the regularity of features that allow a classification of text to text types.


The allocation may be based on various characteristics depending on the research interest. In linguistics and text linguistics the term ' text type ' is not uniformly defined. Basically, the type of text can be used as a group ( see genus ) of texts ( written as well as oral ) are considered, which are characterized by particular bundle of features. With similar or synonymous meaning, the terms class text, text style, text type, text or text be used. In recent years, however, there is consensus, the concepts of text type or text class primarily to refer to empirically vorfindliche text forms (eg, personal ad ), while are denoted by text type theory -based categories or scientific classifications ( eg contact text). The amount of text types in a single language depends on the classification scheme used.

Text types of research

The text places research aims to assign texts by their respective characteristic features of a text type and to describe them. Both internal and external factors of the text to be analyzed: the classification is carried out on the shape and use of a text. Sometimes differences between written and oral, literary and practical texts, scientific and non- scientific texts, etc. can be developed. Research is thereby also the issue whether text places a general typology of texts subject or whether they create these in individual cases only.

An association of texts with text types taught in the language and literature findings on the creation of texts, their historical forms and their evolution under changing linguistic, social influences, among others. Another interest of the research text types in terms of the sociology of knowledge is the linking of text types with media and communication tools and their use and dissemination.

General distinction can be made between text and text- internal external criteria for determining types of text:

The text internal criteria are linked to the text interface and the text deep structure. At the text - surface -bound criteria or graphical in nature, for example, phonetically - paraverbal ( in written language is, for example, between manuscript, typescript and print a distinction ), the vocabulary and sentence type ( so it is unlikely, in love letters clenched nominal constructions and be found heaped Partizipialgefüge ). At the text - depth structure -bound criteria include the theme ( clearly visible in the designation of many types of text eg, Recipe ',' Instructions '), the topics bond and the topics the course (eg, in a lecture usually a single held by topic, the private letter, it often varies ).

The text external criteria are linked to the context of communication. This includes mainly the text function ( for example, Case vs. Request ), the carrier medium ( eg letter vs. Phone call ), and the communication situation in which a text is embedded (determined by factors such as time, place, circumstances and social environment ).

Everyday classification of text types

An intuitive classification falls speakers of a language community for common text types most easily, ie, most speakers have text types competence ( also called text types of knowledge '). The text type is an acquired knowledge in everyday linguistic activity ability to produce texts in the context of situations and institutions and understand. Proof of this is that speakers are able to produce one and the same text in different areas of communication repeat, without using the same syntax and the same vocabulary. For example, a written message text in the form of a personal interview or a story be reproduced or interview appear as aggregated newspaper article. In addition, officials have apparently acquired in everyday ability to recognize in texts classificatory errors and determine a text also places change or to signal.

Speakers acquire, in their socialization process knowledge about what content and topics and what functions or goals of action with one or the other type of text are to be connected. One does not expect, for example, the expression of personal experience or events of emotions in a personal letter, but in a patent specification. That is, the ability to assign texts is without these texts in a vocabulary element must be the Präsignal indicating to which class it is.

On the other hand, there are classes for different characteristic signals ( typical statements or principles of organization ), which may have a klassenindifizierende function. Typical manifestations often include characteristic text Introductory and closing structures such as " Once upon a time ... " ( fairy tale ), " Dear / r Mr / Ms ..." and "Sincerely ... " (Letters ), "On behalf of the people ... " ( court judgments), etc. Among the characteristic text organizational principles, for example, Versstrukturen ( in seals) meant or vacancies to fill ( in forms ).

Global Text Structures and Text schemes are both a result of and a prerequisite for the linguistic activity of a human community. This change tasks, and with changing interaction terms, communication needs over time. The following example ( text type: Recipes ) shows how the imperative mode in the Early High German in the modern era is replaced by passive constructions, and even modal infinitives. It also reflects the tendency to increase information accuracy and density.

A wise spise. Diz is a wise spise. take a brain- sol to VND VND mel epfele VND VND eyer amount of daz with Wurtzen VND strokes it to a hospice VND VND gibz bratez beautiful way. daz heizzet brains fried, daz same you do a lunge, which is gesoten there.

Translation: A fine dining. This is a fine dining: you take a brain, flour, apples and eggs. This can be mixed with spices, put it on a skewer, fry it well and give it to. This is called ' fried brain. " So you can proceed with a cooked lungs.

Bean soup with bacon. Boil a piece of bacon in water soft and seiht the broth through. Then beans are soft boiled, drained, half sifted, the bacon sauce poured on it and driven off with fluffy baking. Then you pour the beaten not add beans, this can ¼ hour long boil and pour into the bacon pieces.

Bulgarian rice meat. Ingredients: 400 grams of meat, 250 grams of rice, 11 broth, 4 tomatoes, 4 onions, 2 peppers, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 cloves of garlic, ¼ tsp pepper, 2 tsp sweet paprika, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon of salt. Preparation: The meat is cut into small pieces and fry for 10 minutes in oil. Add spices, tomato paste and hot broth, bring to a boil and cook covered. Cut the cored peppers into strips, peel onions and cut into quarters. Peel the tomatoes and cut into quarters. Then rice, green peppers and onion mix in and cook everything. Add the tomatoes in the last five minutes of preparation. Finally, season to taste. To this court are the perfect addition mixing bread and a glass of red wine. Per serving 701 calories or 2938 joules.

A spokesman intuitive exploitable or known types of texts are, in the empirically vorfindlich, most common and are called " traditional text types ".

Linguistic classification of text types

The linguistic classification schemes to search for recognition or classification of text types can be based on four possible methodological Ansatzen:

Overview of methods of text types classification

  • A It is assumed that the traditional text types and attempts to determine the characteristics of each type of text.
  • B. One first develops a theory of text and then checks to see if this results in a useful text typology.
  • C. When drafting a text theory whose application is sought on a text typology, such that the traditional text types are defined.
  • D One develops a typology of text in a word theory and independent of traditional text types.

Towards a typology of text

The everyday classification of the texts was a de facto long before the linguistics concerned with Typologisierungsfragen. Thus, for example, the literary genres and genre, Roman ',' narrative ',' novel ',' Sonnet ',' poem ', and so classified, the various legal texts, constitutional ', ' regulation ', ' arrangement ', implementing rule ',' input ',' judgment ',' indictment ', etc., educational texts, teaching texts ' and ' exercise texts ', etc. All of these can be understood as text types, because they are just specific text types with their characteristic properties. Consequently, can be recognized as text places each finished with Lexicon character word corresponding to at least partially in its meaning to the definition of the general concept of text. One of the ways to a linguistic typology of texts is therefore to analyze more and more empirically vorfindliche text types and to generalize their results. The aim is to achieve a taxonomy of text types and a theory of text composition inductive. Specific studies related to such types of text as, narrative texts ',' jokes ',' letter places ',' interviews ', appeals and Views ', ' way information ', ' sales pitches ', ' problem representations in the therapeutic situation ', etc. For a linguistic text classification however, prepared the strong heterogeneity of the texts is a difficult problem - by no means all types of text of a speech community could be classified consistent. A theory of text composition, which could describe and explain the global structures and principles of organization of texts, could not be developed until today from this approach and will remain for some linguists to be a desideratum.

Another way to a linguistic typology of texts lies in the assumption that a typology is achieved automatically or ( deductive ) once the text theory is able to uncover the complex structural and functional relationships of texts. This proved to be a methodological error of judgment, because this assumption meant that the text- linguistic typological research questions in a very long neglected or deliberately excluded. Only since the late 1960s, developed in the text linguistics different text types classifications. The text analytical linguistics reflects the dominant linguistic conceptions of the period in which they are incurred, which are expressed in the following types of text models.

Grammatically - structuralist models

The classification models of the 1970s were based on criteria of the text interface and text-internal structures. These include typographic features, vocabulary and sentence type (eg nominal vs. style. Verbal style). Here is a text type or text class as a grammatical structure viewed ( Textgrammatische models). Since these models exclusively on language intrinsic properties and their relations concentrated among themselves, they have been criticized for narrowness. Well-known representatives are Roland Harweg or Harald Weinrich.

Topic models classify texts to text types also based on text-internal structures. In these models, particularly the importance of relationships and their relations are taken into account in texts. At the text - depth structure -bound criteria address the topic text, the topics bond and the course topics.

Komponentialitätsthese / communication components theory

Thus, linguistic entities from elementary, discrete components can be constructed. Phonology and semantics were a long time been very successful with this method. This approach defines a type of text as a combinatorics ( combination product ) or a composition of features. So, for example, tried Barbara Sand (1972 ) to achieve a text types differentiation by twenty distinctive features. It revealed themselves (as in the semantic component analysis ), however, the questions of how the individual features ( a finite set ) are to gain what status they have and what linguistic properties they represent. At issue are the Hierarchisierungsprinzip, which is often assumed in this method and the heterogeneous classification basis.

Situations models

According to the pragmatic turn in linguistics in the 1970s, increasingly popular models, which are based not only on the texts themselves, but also include the communication situation in their model. The representatives of these models take into account different situational aspects such as the action area or the surrounding situation (which are situational aspects in the narrower sense) and the area of ​​use or communication range (ie situational aspects in a broader sense, since social structures are taken into account ). A text type or text class is viewed as a realization of a communication type, thus corresponds to a Texttaxonomie largely a situation typology.

Types of text classification by a dominant criterion and limitation of the validity claim

The validity claim of the previously mentioned classifications included texts of all communication areas. When it became obvious that the actual scopes are only partially, tried to limit the reach of their models plausible some linguists. From the mid 1970's until the mid 1980's were text types classifications by a dominant ( prominent ) criterion applied. A homogeneous Typologisierungsbasis was thus at least sought. So Rolf own forest associated text types according to five global practice areas:

Bärbel Techtmeier limited their Classification conversations and postulated a conversation typology by institutional aspects:

These approaches have been criticized for arbitrariness of the assignment copies the text to the global categories and due in part only apparent homogeneity of global criteria.

Function models are based on the communicative function of text, ie they assume that texts are produced with certain communication intention. Text External criteria are linked to the context of communication. These include text function, communication channel, and communication situation in which a text is created. For the generation of text types according to this model, its underlying function (use and purpose ) is crucial, be classified as belonging by which texts as belonging to a certain type of text. The text function is therefore considered as the dominant criterion. For example, all texts whose main function is to convey information, to the informative text type ' are summarized. Texts which are instructions to the reader, are allocated in a function model, directives text type '.

Similar text, which is intended to prevent the insertion of advertising. The shape similarity to a stop sign reinforces the directive function

A text which is to prevent sitting on a tree ( directive function)

As difficult, however, proves a plausible definition of text function '. According to a definition of the term, the text features ' are senderintentional certain instructions to the recipient of a text. So a text function provides information about the desired mode from the transmitter understanding. Among other things, purely aesthetic functionality was considered as a text function (whose criteria are, beautiful ',' exciting ',' compelling ',' exciting ',' poignant ',' shocking ',' entertaining ',' boring ',' banal ', etc.. ).

For the following types of text classification obviously the functional aspects are paramount:

  • Instructive (cognitive ) lyrics Here is inter alia, scientific and popular texts, explanations, comparison ( = discussion ), opinion ( = dialectical reflection essay ), definitions and explanations, protocols.
  • Regulatory ( normative ) lyrics Include, among others legal texts, warranty statements, technical explanations for this type of text.
  • Communicators ( informative ) texts These include inter alia message, message, comment (mixed form, the reports and an opinion is expressed ), description, report, record, characteristics, discussion (mixed form, which argued and commented ).
  • Requesting ( appellative ) lyrics These include, for example, advertising texts, political propaganda, Views, advertisements, invitations and instructions.
  • Descriptive (descriptive ) lyrics Texts that explain a situation, such as product descriptions in Technical Documentation
  • Amusing ( trivial -narrative ) texts It includes both sophisticated novels, such as biographical content, as well as to popular literature such as women's, home, medical and detective stories, utopian novels, travelogues, adventure stories.
  • Poetic - interpretive ( aesthetic- creative ) texts These include Narrative texts ( epic ), Scenic texts ( drama ), poem texts ( poetry).

In the framework of functional text models action-oriented text typologies emerged, identified the types of text with action varieties and patterns of action. So, for example, suggested Ernst Ulrich Great before a classification according to communicative functions of a text, which by the way has an unusually limited scope (limited to all written texts of German and French language):

  • 2 Text Class: Contact texts / Text function: Contact Function / Examples: letter of congratulations, condolences
  • 3 Text Class: gruppenindizierende texts / Text function: function gruppenindizierende / Examples: Text of the group songs like La Marseillaise
  • 4th class text: poetic lyrics / text function: poetic function / poem, novel, comedy
  • 5 Text Class: Information- texts / Text Function: Information- Function / diary, autobiography
  • 6 Text Class: Requesting Text / Text function: call / Goods Advertising, party programs, petition, request
  • 7 Text Class: sachinformierende texts / Text function: transfer of information / news, weather forecast, scientific text
  • 8 transition class - two functions dominate alike (eg request and information transfer )

New approaches

With his ' transition class ' tried to give his model a Great flexibility, creating a two-time allocation of a text was possible. In practice allows for a variety of texts multiple assignments. A typology is not enough here. The fable of the wise wolf and the nine silly wolves, for example, as a ' mathematical text- text ', ' narrative text ', ' Event Text ', ' fictional text ', ' humorous text ', ' historical text ' and even as a ' fable text' equally be successfully classified. The current state of text linguistics allows multiple classifications, with both specifications by text internal features, as well as orientation is taken into account objectives of the interactants. The realization that typical text structuring patterns societal challenges and needs to change accordingly, resulted in a typology of text is not considered a fundamental timeless model. Instead of rigid systematization attempts are becoming increasingly flexible classification approaches in popularity.

Multilevel models

The multilevel models take into account various criteria for classification. For multilevel models following principles are characteristic:

  • Compatibility with the text places of everyday life: A text types model should not contradict the everyday knowledge of text types
  • Multidimensionality: components of various typing levels are based on the classification
  • Flexibility: There are no clear relationships between text types among themselves assumed

The basis of the multi-level classification is based on the assumption that the text pattern knowledge comes through multi-dimensional mappings of prototypical representations at different levels ( layers ) into existence. The question of the hierarchy ( weighting ) of the planes remains open this.

Example of multi-level model:

  • Level I. Function Types
  • Level II situation types
  • Level III. types of processes
  • Level IV text structuring
  • Level V. Prototypical pattern formulation