The phenomenon of reference in the science of text: the formation and development of the theory of reference
Оноприенко, О. В. The phenomenon of reference in the science of text: the formation and development of the theory of reference / О. В. Оноприенко. — Текст : непосредственный // Молодой ученый. — 2020. — № 24 (314). — С. 461-465. — URL: https://moluch.ru/archive/314/71667/ (дата обращения: 03.08.2021).
In the XIX century, the term reference was rarely used and practically did not occur in the scientific literature. However, now the questions of reference are relevant and occupy a significant place in the research of language theory. The phenomenon of linguistic reference and the study of reference relations in the text makes it possible to identify the connection of various language elements at both structural and semantic levels. This makes it possible to look at the nature of the text from a reference point of view, and is proof of the relevance of further research on reference and reference relations in both written and oral speech.
Key words: anaphora, coherence, coreference, link, pronoun, reference, text.
The theory of reference receives new coverage at the level of textual linguistics, a scientific discipline that emerged at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s. The term reference comes from the verb to refer — to refer to an object, to have in mind any object, to refer to something. Therefore, reference is the relation of a name or expression included in speech, a name group to an object of reality. The origin of modern reference theories is the observation of the meaning and use of common names, and, first of all, of specific vocabulary. Common nouns are vested with a certain conceptual content or concept, but at the same time are capable of denotation (designation) of objects of reality, they simultaneously indicate an object and report some information about it. This semantic dualism has been emphasized by J. Mill. He relied on the concept of P. Grice, who introduced the concept of intention in the definition of meaning.
L. Linsky made a step in the pragmatization of the theory of reference: he linked the act of reference with the speaking subject . Reference is made by those who use the language, but not by those expressions that a speaker uses for his own purposes.
The connection of the theory with the speaking subject gave positive results, and the understanding of reference as a subjective act that is determined by the intention of the speaker, aroused interest in the so — called indirect reference — tricks, hints-those means to which the speaker resorts for various purposes: when he wants to express himself without making any confessions, or when he does not want to be responsible for his words. In this case, the reference is determined by the norms of conversation and the level of proficiency in the art of intricacies.
However, the exaggeration of the role of the speaker's intentions in establishing the connection between the language expression and the object or phenomenon of reality caused a protest from S. Kripke — the author of the asemantic theory of reference. He proposed to distinguish the speaker's reference and semantic reference. Semantic reference is determined by the context and intent of the author of the speech and belongs to pragmatics. But it is obvious that the differences between the above theories are determined by the following factors:
– difference in understanding the mechanisms for establishing a connection between a name and an object;
– difference in understanding the role of nominal expressions in forming a judgment;
– difference in the degree of pragmatization of theories.
It should be added that the means of reference are as uneven as the functions of reference expressions, and the situations of speech act are also different, which adds the list of distinctive features of referential theories.
If reference is a way to» hook " a statement for the world, it should be noted that there is a connection between the type of language expression and the type of reference .
To implement a specific identifying reference, the following language expressions are used:
1) deictic pronouns that perform an indicative function and are applicable to any object or phenomenon;
2) proper nouns that have a nominative function and the singular reference property;
3) common names that perform a denotative function (designation), but the selection of the subject requires special actualizers (demonstrative — possessive pronouns and other qualifiers -grammatical and semantic.
But for all reference theories, the main question is about the role of meaning in establishing the connection between the nominal expression and the object of reality.
Many Russian linguists such as N. D. Arutyunova, K. Linsky, A. S. Chekhov, P. G. Kich and foreign linguists such as W. O. Quine, T. Givon, R. Langacker were engaged in the theory of reference. The work of N. Chomsky made a great contribution to solving this issue. Linking theory concerns the referential interpretation of language units and their antecedents, it relates different types of names to their antecedents, and divides those words that may have antecedents into three classes:
– anaphors (reflexive and reciprocal pronouns);
– pronominals (anaphoric pronouns, including phonologically empty ones);
– R-expressions (referential expressions) are names that directly name an object in the surrounding world, i.e. full name groups.
J. R. Searle in his work «Axioms of reference» provides types of reference expressions :
– proper names: Peter, Canada;
– complex noun phrases in the singular: Lena's sister; that person's wife;
– pronouns: this, that, he, I, we;
– titles: Prime Minister, Pope.
Searle also notes the necessary conditions for the implementation of the reference, highlighting the reference fully completed and successful. The first is reference, in which the object is clearly identified for the listener, i.e. the identification is perceived by the addressee. The second is reference, in which we cannot accuse the speaker of not making the reference, but the object may not be uniquely identified to the listener.
N. Chomsky formulated the main thesis of the reference, which can be voiced as follows: «Reflexive pronouns express the coreference of two nominal components».
K. Linsky defines the main communicative function of coreference, which consists in identifying the subject in relation to the text.
By definition of Z. Vykhodilova, koreference is the designation of the same object in different parts of the text. We are talking about the following phenomena: repetitions of the same full-meaning name, the use of synonyms, antonyms, pronominalization, etc..
The phenomenon of coreference is not just a different designation of an object, which is manifested when it is renominated or renamed by the same textual referent. In addition to the repeated nomination, the reference is accompanied by giving it additional attributes, thereby adding to the addressee's knowledge of the referent. Coreference allows to hold information about an object throughout the text. In other words, coreference, being one of the aspects of the coherence of the text, ensures its functioning as a system.
Coreferent names are considered as lexical repetition, as a type of semantic repetition, which is implemented in the text using recurrence and paraphrase, where recurrence is the simplest way of semantic communication in the form of word repetition, and in the case of paraphrase, the connection is carried out using synonymous constructions . Coreference is generally considered as a relationship between nominal groups.
J. Fauconnier believes that only nominal groups have the function of reference, while actions are non-referential, therefore, in speech, several nominal groups or words can have the same referent, that is, relate to the same object. Words that have a common referent are called coreferent. Coreference is defined as «different designation of the same object, denotation» and is considered in close connection with repeated nomination, which can be carried out not only at the word level, but also at the sentence level.
O. L. Ostrovsky in the work «Cognitive coreference and its structural and organizing role in the text (based on the material of French newspaper texts)" defines the role of semantic means in creating the coherence of the text, defines the structure of the coreference chain and analyzes this structure in relation to the French language, focuses on the text — forming role of coreference in the text, recognizing its importance in creating cohesion. The author analyzes not individual coreferent utterances, but a whole series — chains of coreferent names on the example of the French language .
L. V. Kalashnikova in her dissertation «Coreference in the cognitive aspect» describes a cognitive approach that consists in trying to understand the way to decipher information about reality. The author studies the relationship of coreference with the problems of linguistics and cognitive linguistics.
In the study of coreference in the cognitive aspect, cannot be limited exclusively to the linguistic approach, since a text is considered as a linguistic and communicative unit. Not all types of linguistic analysis can serve pragmatic purposes, because they mean the text as a unit of language whose elements are assigned meanings within the framework of linguistic semantics, and not as a unit of communication that reflects actual sign activity in a sign situation for a specific occasion, for a specific purpose, and by a specific addressee.
P. V. Tolpegin in his research «Automatic resolution of third-person pronoun coreference in Russian-language texts» examines the phenomenon of coreference from the point of view of automatic text processing, focusing on the coreference of pronouns.
A. A. Prokhorova studies discursive connections in an oral monologue text, based on the material of the British version of the English language, focusing on words and expressions that fill the pauses between the semantic parts of the utterance. A particular attention in the dissertation is occupied by the characteristic of discourse as a phenomenon of sounding speech.
O. V. Verbitskaya, considering the main categories of the text — coherence and integrity, notes that coherence is impossible without coreference .
clip-phrase and the role of this phenomenon in the system of expression of syntactic relations and relations, speaks about the role of words of various parts of speech in creating the semantic and structural organization of the text .
P. S. Kusliy develops the problem of reference of individual terms, considering the main theories of reference in the philosophy of language, taking into account their features and disadvantages. The author also offers a new approach to the analysis of the reference of individual terms, which «overcomes the difficulties of earlier theories and is able to solve the established problem cases». Referring to the works of Frege (the theory called «three-part semantics»), the scientist notes some ineffectiveness of the propositions put forward, which solve only those questions that Frege himself formulated. Analyzing the works of B. Russell concerning two-part semantics (the theory of discriptions), Kusliy speaks about the linguist's desire to solve the problem of analyzing sentences containing empty designating phrases, and also notes dissatisfaction with Frege's concept of meaning for the analysis of the problem of interchangeability. According to Russell, names are abbreviated specific descriptions or incomplete characters (descriptions) that acquire their meaning in the context of a sentence. This conclusion has had an impact on many scientists, however, J. D.Searle questioned it, pointing out the specific nature of proper names, which was that the proper name in comparison with other singular terms continues to indicate the same denotation, even if the meanings associated with this name change in different situations. This point of view was further developed in the research of K. Donnelan and S. Kripke. The merit of the latter is the statement of the fact that in order to understand the principles of implementing the reference of names, it is impossible to limit the consideration of names solely as hidden descriptions, since in the language these names are also assigned the function of designators, labels attached to objects. Developing the problem of reference of individual terms (a term that can be used to refer to an object), Kusliy offers a new two-level theory based on the basic difference between two ways of designating individual terms: the designation of the object itself and the designation of the condition under which these objects can fall.
A. K. Ustin focuses on the role of pronouns in the construction of the text (on the example of the German language) in his research «text-Forming functions of pronouns in modern German language» . Here the author considers the questions concerning the ways of establishing the explanatory possibilities of pronouns in relation to the construction of the text, the specific text-forming functions of words in this part of speech, as well as in some way generalizes various theories and directions in the study of pronouns.
D. N. Maslova in the work «Prepositional-case combinations in the function of means of communication between independent sentences in the modern Russian literary language» explores new aspects of syntactic relations and specific means of communication, for which the connective functions are not the main and only single (the combination of prepositions and the demonstrative pronoun «it»is analyzed).
Nguyen Ngoc Li lien in his research «the Relationship between sentences in descriptive and narrative complex syntactic wholes of A. P. Chekhov as a syntactic and stylistic problem» points to the role of personal and demonstrative pronouns in creating coherence of the text-description, noting the unity and interrelation of all the connections of a complex syntactic whole.
Z. N. Yakushkina studies the issue of teaching inter-language communication in the course of teaching Russian language in foreign-speaking countries, developing the most effective methods and techniques of language teaching, thereby proving that connectivity is the main category of text in oral and written forms.
T. V. Milevskaya in her dissertation research considers the central category of discourse — connectivity, describes the types of cohesion relations and ways of their expression in relation to lexical and grammatical means .
O. V. Popova in her dissertation analyzes the role of personal pronouns in the light of the cognitive approach (based on the material of the English language), their place in the speech situation .
The article by S. A. Burlyay «Formal means of expressing the coherence of the text in the Russian and French languages» is of interest. It examines the means of communication between independent sentences. There are: lexical repetitions of nouns, adjectives, verbs and other parts of speech. For example, third-person personal pronouns that replace animate and inanimate nouns and even entire utterances are similar to nouns that repeat in two sentences. But other types of pronouns such as indefinite and demonstrative pronouns can also perform the connection function. Another group of connectivity tools combines functional and syntactic tools, including special connection constructs, introductory word constructs, and logical adverbs. Special communication constructions are words and phrases that are redundant from the point of view of the information content of the message, but are necessary for presentation in coherent speech. What distinguishes them from lexical and grammatical means is that they almost do not relate to the lexical side of the sentence, performing almost only a syntactic function.
Accordingly, the author leads us to the following idea: in the Russian language, the coherence of sentences in the structure of utterance is achieved mainly by means of lexical repetitions, but the role of other ways to achieve coherence can not be considered insignificant.
Also attractive is the work of L. Voborzhil " Lexical and other means of text cohesion (based on the material of the Russian contract)", which considers the concepts of cohesion and coherence as the main concepts of text theory, which are considered to be the defining, building characteristics of the text, a necessary condition for textuality. Сohesion is considered by the author as «visible chaining of parts of the text using formal means of different language levels». On the example of the text of contract L. Voborzhil proves that the following lexical means are used to connect sentences: repetition and replacement (substitution), while the latter means of communication implies the use of pronouns with anaphoric or cataphoric connection, adverbs of replacement such as «there», «here», «then», etc., that is, the connection in the text is based on coreferent relations.
The question of the category of coherence concerns texts of all styles, including journalistic ones. Thus, T. P. Ivanova considers the problem of coherence in the course of a newspaper text of economic content, noting that «the integrity of the text is also supported by the use of connecting means between sentences expressed explicitly or implicitly», pointing to these means, as well as the importance of teaching students of non-philological direction the basics of monological speech. Even in a text so far removed from fiction, we see almost the same picture: the coherence and integrity of texts of different styles is often achieved using almost identical means of communication: repetition and replacement involving pronouns and adverbs.
The unity of the text is achieved through the identity of reference. This phenomenon is understood as follows: every time the same proper or common name and their lexical synonyms are used in the same text fragment with the same referent, the same subject or the same person is meant. The essence of coreference is that the referents that appear in the text or discourse must be repeated in it.
We can conclude that the question of the means of text coherence remains relevant, and linguists resort to analyzing not only Russian, but also other languages (German, English, French), unanimously highlighting the role of coreference in creating a coherent utterance.
The theory of reference is undergoing a period of rapid development: new approaches to the study of this concept are emerging. If at the initial stage of development this theory was based on the problem of correlation of a linguistic object and its referent — the object of real reality, then with the development of casual theories that treat the basic concepts of reference differently, the theory gradually begins to undergo changes. at the same time, within the framework of the» classical " logical approach, new developments arise that deepen the original theoretical positions that are found in the works of A. Tarski, R.Montague, and others.
Initially, reference was considered as an object that should be designated by a specific utterance, but under the influence of semantic theories, it began to be interpreted as the connection of language expressions with objects of the real world, which characterizes these expressions as indicating a single object in reality. The theory of reference has largely become a common place of merging issues of linguistics, science of language and logic, setting its task to study the correlation of language with reality.
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