Professional Discourse & Communication

Advanced search

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

Full Text:


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


1. Alikaev, R.S., Bredikhin, S.N. (2015). “Skhemy deystvovaniya” kak marker diskursivnosti nauchnogo teksta: formal’naya logika vs. germenevtika [“Schemes of acting” as a discourse marker of a scientific text: formal logics vs. hermeneutics]. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta: Yazykoznaniye [Science Journal of Volgograd State University: Linguistics], 2 (26), 121–127 (in Russian).

2. Bredikhin, S.N., Serebriakova, S.V., Likhovid, A.A. (2019). Sposoby kompressii kognitivnoy informatsii v nauchno-populyarnom tekste [Ways of cognitive information compression in a popular science text]. Aktualniye problem filologii i pedagogicheskoy lingvistiki [Current Issues in Philology and Pedagogical Linguistics], 3, 139-145 (in Russian).

3. Kushnina, L.V. Tekst nauchnoy annotatsii v epistemicheskom osveshchenii [Research paper abstracts from epistemic perspective] / L.V. Kushnina, S.K. Filipson. PNRPU Linguistics and Pedagogy Bulletin. 2020, no.2, pp. 8-19. (In Russ.)

4. Ledeneva, T.V, Zinkevich, N.A. (2020). Problema obucheniya sovremennykh studentov referirovaniyu inoyazychnogo teksta [The problem of teaching modern students to summarize a foreign text]. Filologicheskiye nauki v MGIMO [Philological Sciences in MGIMO], 23 (3), 80-87 (in Russian).

5. Ovchinnikova, N.D. (2014). O nekotorykh sposobakh aktualizatsii pervichnoy kompressii pri zhanrovoy transformatsii v angliyskom publitsisticheskom tekste [On some methods of actualizing primary compression during genre transformation in an English publicistic text]. The Bryansk State University Herald, 2, 370-374 (in Russian).

6. Plokhaya, E.E. (2018). Sposoby yazykovoy kompressii v entsiklopedicheskom tekste [Ways of language compression in encyclopedia text]. Professionalnaya kommunikatsiya: aktualniye voprosi lingvistiki i metodiki [Professional communication: topical issues of linguistics and methodology], 3, 71-76 (in Russian).

7. Tolstolutskaya, E.V. (2016). Kombinatsii razlichnykh sposobov kompressii informatsii v tekstakh malogo formata frantsuzskoy pechatnoy pressy [The combination of different means of information compression in small sized texts of French print press]. Perevod i sopostavitelnaya lingvistika [Translation and comparative linguistics], 12, 24-26 (in Russian).

8. Umerova, M.V. (2011). Yazykovaya kompressiya: vidy i urovni realizatsii [Language compression: types and levels of implementation]. Aktualniye voprosy sovremennoy nauki [Actual questions of modern science], 17 (1), 260269 (in Russian).

9. Antonova-Unlu, E., & Wei, L. (2020). Examining Possible Sources of L2 Divergence at the Pragmatics Interface: Turkish Accusative in the End-State Grammar of L1 Russian and L1 English Users of L2 Turkish. Lingua, Volume 244. doi: 10.1016/j.lingua.2020.102868

10. Blake, G., & Bly, R.W. (1993). The Elements of Technical Writing. New York: Macmillan Pub. Co.

11. Coats, S. (2020). Articulation Rate in American English in a Corpus of YouTube Videos. Language and Speech, 63(4), 799-831. doi:10.1177/0023830919894720

12. De Smet, I., & Van de Velde, F. (2020). A Corpus-Based Quantitative Analysis of Twelve Centuries of Preterite and Past Participle Morphology in Dutch. Language Variation and Change, 32(2), 241-265.

13. English Today. Retrieved from (accessed: 7 December, 2020).

14. European Journal of English Studies, volume 24, issue 1, 2020. Retrieved from (accessed: 7 December, 2020).

15. Intercultural Pragmatics, volume 17, issue 5, November 2020. Retrieved from (accessed: 7 December, 2020).

16. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, volume 23, issue 10, 2020. Retrieved from (accessed: 7 December, 2020).

17. Language and Speech, volume 63, issue 4, December 2020. Retrieved from (accessed: 7 December, 2020).

18. Language Variation and Change, volume 32, issue 2, July 2020. Retrieved from (accessed: 7 December, 2020).

19. Lingua, volume 244, September 2020. Retrieved from (accessed: 7 December, 2020).

20. Literature and Theology, volume 34, issue 3, September 2020. Retrieved from (accessed: 7 December, 2020).

21. Rothermich, K., Caivano, O., Knoll, L.J., Talwar, V. (2020). Do They Really Mean It? Children’s Inference of Speaker Intentions and the Role of Age and Gender. Language and Speech, 63(4), 689-712.

22. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics, volume 23, issue 1, April 2020. Retrieved from (accessed: 7 December, 2020).

23. Zhao, F. Ng. (2020). Mad Love: Surrealism and Soteriological Desire. Literature and Theology, 34 (3), 363–385.

For citation:

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.)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 2687-0126 (Online)