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Means of Semantic Compression in Modern English Scientific Discourse (Based on Abstracts to the Articles From International Scientific Citation Databases)

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The article explores the phenomenon of semantic compression in small format metatexts within the contemporary English scientific discourse. Abstracts to scientific articles from international citation databases, in particular those of Scopus and Web of Science, are analysed with the aim of eliciting ways of semantic compression. The latter is viewed as a key parameter of a scientific abstract, whose semantic quality is the main factor responsible for further integration of the research results into the global knowledge pool. It is presumed that an abstract, being a secondary small-format text, represents an exact semantic copy of the original scientific article, hence compression is viewed as a mechanism of redistributing the functional load of the eliminated units of the original by means of increasing the informative potential of the remaining elements within the secondary small-format text. In the process of pragma-semantic and discourse analysis, a specific complex of semantic compression methods is revealed on every level of scientific abstract organization; in particular, compression means are elicited on the structural and semantic textual levels, as well as on the morphological, lexical, syntactic and graphical ones. The revealed patterns, on the one hand, expand our understanding of compression mechanisms typical of small-format texts in general; on the other hand, the practical data obtained as a result of the analysis can be used by a wide range of researchers while writing abstracts in English for publications in high-ranking international scientific journals.

About the Author

M. V. Cherkunova
Samara National Research University
Russian Federation

Marina V. Cherkunova is Cand. Sci. (Philology), associate professor in the Department of English philology


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For citations:

Cherkunova M.V. Means of Semantic Compression in Modern English Scientific Discourse (Based on Abstracts to the Articles From International Scientific Citation Databases). Professional Discourse & Communication. 2021;3(3):28-38. (In Russ.)

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ISSN 2687-0126 (Online)