Structural and Functional Relations between Text Models

Ján Findra
The paper presents a theory of modeling based on the idea that a text model is a social text structure reflecting generalized features of specific texts. A text model results from the tension between oppositions, including individual-social, concrete-abstract, unique-general, variant-invariant. The text model thus represents an optimal abstraction level and ideally indicates the possible existence of actual texts independent of their individual characteristics. The text model is defined by a
more » ... of non-verbal features (properties) and their synchronically stable configuration as well as by a fixed structure of both verbal and non-verbal means of expression (stylemes). The actual (specific) text uniquely synchonizes the social and the individual,the variant and the invariant. Since a text is of a bilateral nature at both system and speech levels the text-formation process is structured within a complex model (the model of models) which encompasses deep text organization models (coherence) and surface text organization models (cohesion). A special position is assumed by genre. As a 'terminal' model genre directly conditions the actual text form, the intersection of the invariant and the invariant. Because linguists recognize that language is a complex system of systems, there have been several attempts in the history of linguistics to analyze language as an object of modeling. In these, the model as an ideal object was expected to more or less adequately represent the structure of language as a real object. Furthermore, rules for each model's operation in speech were examined. Since it was not possible to model language as a whole, as a complex system, modeling focused on some partial aspects of individual language subsystems, their elements and constituents. While the most frequent object of modeling was the phonological system (e.g. phonemes and syllables), models of the morphological subsystem were also developed (e.g., grammatical categories and word classes). Syntactic models mostly represented the relations between sentence members and sentences. In addition to modeling formal relations between elements of individual language subsystems, linguists attempted to develop semantic models (cf. Horecký 2003). This effort naturally resulted in attempts to develop text models of structuring for the text-formation activity of language users at a generalized abstract level. In this paper, we will introduce text models (text structure models) employed in the Stylistics of Slovak (Findra 2004). These models represent an attempt to ideally structure the text-formation process that, from the point of view of an expedient, is the functional basis for the formation of an actual, meaningful text. The genesis of these text models will be outlined and, at the same time, the hierarchy of structural and functional relations between them will be indicated. My understanding of text models was first presented at the 1 st Sociolinguistic Conference in Banská Bystrica (Findra 1991). In principle, I discussed analogy-based models (Horecký 2003) aimed at the identification of the relative agreement of properties characteristic of several areas. However, these models were not true text models. They were confined to the modeling of generalized procedures in the formation of actual texts, notably, at the intersection of a set of nonverbal properties, bound by a binary opposition, and controlling the motion along the social-individual axis. What matters are the oppositions oral-written, private-public, formal-informal, prepared-spontaneous, dialogue-monologue. These 110