n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Tekslinguistiek : van teorie tot praktyk : research article




Text linguistics : from theory to practice

In this article it is argued that theory and practice are reconcilable in the case of text linguistics and the teaching of writing skills. First, textlinguistics as a theoretical discipline is explained. Text linguistics, according to De Beaugrande and Dressler (1981), focuses on the seven constitutive principles, as well as the three regulative principles of textuality that determine the linguistic quality or standard of a text. The constitutive principles are cohesion, which in its turn, can be obtained by means of reference, ellipsis, substitution, conjunction and lexical cohesion, coherence, intentionality, acceptability, information, contextuality and intertextuality. The three regulative principles are efficiency, effectiveness and appropriateness. This is followed by a discussion of the relationship between text linguistics and the teaching of writing skills. Knowledge of the principles of text linguistics enables the teacher of writing skills to evaluate texts and to make learners aware of the properties of a "good" text, resulting in effective communication. Text-linguistic concepts are then applied to texts created by Afrikaans second-language speakers. It is then indicated how knowledge of text-linguistic concepts can be an aid in the teaching of writing skills.


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