From Academic Discourse to the Construal of Scientific Cognition and Knowledge Structures

  • Larissa Manerko
Part of the The M.A.K. Halliday Library Functional Linguistics Series book series (TMAKHLFLS)


The present article views academic discourse as an evolving entity with linguistic, non-linguistic and cognitive peculiarities. In order to illustrate the interface between language and cognition and to uncover specific semantic and pragmatic features our methodology embraces cognitive and functional mechanisms as well as background factors influencing particular features of discourse. The cognitive mechanisms of human thinking and knowledge structures are revealed on the basis of propositions, cognitive mapping, and frames to pinpoint the potential representative features identifying invention in science as an event. These features can demonstrate how an individual’s conceptual representations are influenced by categorization and conceptualization as well as by the functional characteristics of text production.

To illustrate the specific features of human knowledge structures which lead to a scientific model of the world, one report and one of the speeches by the same specialist in elementary particle physics to the Nobel Prize committee are investigated. In this paper it is demonstrated how an invention in physics takes place, and how from the state of not knowing the object in scientific reality, an individual obtains his experience in the professional sphere of human activity. While describing the evolution of human experience in scientific discourse, the most salient linguistic features and conceptual categories are revealed in the context of the dynamics of the communicative event. First, they correspond to an everyday conceptual picture of the world, based on a reflection on space and time, secondly, on the general scientific model and thirdly, on the way a person thinks about scientific domains in relation to the contextual and discursive factors that influence their mental activity in the course of the talk.


Academic discourse Terminological units Physics Construal of the world Knowledge structures Linguistic and conceptual categories 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larissa Manerko
    • 1
  1. 1.Higher School of Translation and InterpretingLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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