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Figure in discourse

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The article presents a broad theoretical view of figure in its expressive and semantic features, as a semiotic and cognitive category. The nature of figure comes out in speech. Figure is a characteristic form of speech sign (sign in speech). The essence of figure is described in terms of transitivity and interpretation. Both are functional qualities which serve to describe relationship between the parts of the figure. The notion parts of the figure has a double meaning: a linear and a conceptual one. Figure, to come to existence, unites and, at the same time, opposes its two parts to each other. The linear approach means a discrete and external expressive evolution of the figure, one part comes to substitute and to complete the other, this transition from one part to another implies a conceptual evolution of the figure. The linear approach applies to different scales of analysis. As figures one can see: forms of structural and nominative reduplication, transition from theme to rheme in the proposition, transition from one proposition to another within the text, intertextual transition from one text to another within the discourse. The conceptual approach goes to inner syncretism of the figure, representing the semiotic link between the sense and the semantic representation of the object in it. A linear figure turns to be a conceptual one. At this point too we see different levels of figure. An inner and an external synergies of the figure are distinguished. The first one refers to the inner correlation between two parts of the figure. The second one characterizes how the figure depends on the conceptual factors of the discourse. The figure in its evolution focuses on the “functional perspective of discourse”. The figure hones conceptual features and contributes to conceptual structuring of discourse. A conceptual figure of discourse grows in this process. The most stable conceptual features are seen in so called institutional types of discourse. The article analyses examples from political and juridical discourses. It may be of interest of different specialists working in fields of discourse, semiotics, cognition theory and logic.

About the Authors

N. V. Ivanov
MGIMO University
Russian Federation

Nikolai V. Ivanov


M. N. Fedulova
Military University of the Russian Defence Ministry
Russian Federation

Maria N. Fedulova



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For citations:

Ivanov N.V., Fedulova M.N. Figure in discourse. Professional Discourse & Communication. 2019;1(3):9-25. (In Russ.)

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