Linguo-pragmatic parameters of the English medical scientific minitexts

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This paper proposes the linguo-pragmatic analysis of English medical abstracts within scientific discourse. Both scientific medical advancement and increasingly larger role of scientific discourse as a source of authentic evidence-based knowledge motivated this research. Evidence-based medicine is gaining importance and, as a result, becomes quite popular. Its foundations are becoming the methodological framework in scientific medical research. Advances in understanding of medical science cause the creation of new medical terms which enrich the concept ‘medicine’. This study seeks to reveal and systematize linguo-pragmatic characteristics of the concept ‘medicine’ within the boundaries of scientific discourse. We focus on the analysis of medical scientific minitexts, abstracts in particular, because they perform both informative and pragmatic functions. The empirical study is based upon the modern scientific articles from top-rated medicine journals «BMC Medicine», «BMJ Open», «The Lancet Infectious Diseases» and includes such methods as data collection and analysis, description and classification of material, semantic and conceptual analysis accompanied by discourse analysis. One important finding is that according to the most popular themes of medical studies we can find the main trends in the evolution of modern medicine. Another remarkable result is that the medical linguistic markers under consideration form the concept ‘medicine’ mainly nominating diseases, diagnostic techniques, medical studies and trials as well as medical scientific models. It is interesting to note that the highest human values – life and health–lie at the heart of medical trials and form their pragmatic potential. Further analysis showed that the authors’ use of word compression, abbreviation, stylistic devices (metaphors, metonyms and allusions) and graphic design (quotation marks and italic type), which are the most popular and vivid linguo-pragmatic features of abstracts in English-language medical articles contributes to pragmatic potential of the texts under study and makes them appealing to the reader.

About the authors

A. A. Golubykh

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1724-6931

postgraduate student of the Department of English Philology


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