T. B. Maslova


With the current tendency to treat discourse phenomena as pragmatic rather than linguistic, the term “modes of discourse” has become an important concept in studying the organization of monological written discourse. However, there are some other linguistic terms which are closely related to, or sometimes even overlapping with, the concept of discourse modes, and this may lead to a problem of confusion. For this reason, the paper first of all elucidates the differences between discourse and text, register and genre, so that to point out the distinction between approaches to dealing with texts of various types. Next, it investigates diverse classifications of text types developed over the years by different authors (J. Kinneavy, E. Werlich, R. Longacre, D. Biber, J.-M. Adam, T. Virtanen, James R. Martin, M. Fludernik, C. Smith), indicating the key principles of categorization, such as correlation with cognitive strategies, speech acts, linguistic features, and so on. Finally, one arrives at the conclusion that modes of discourse, which could be used synonymously with text types, concern the pragmatic properties of the text, and reveal rhetorical patterns used to achieve certain communicative goals in a coherent discourse. It is thus the goal of further research in the field of discourse studies to come up with the typology of modes of discourse applicable for particular types of discourse.


text; discourse; register; genre; text type; mode of discourse

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