Nefedov S.T. On Functional Potential of Interrogative Structures in Academic Linguistic Discourse 

Sergey Trofimovich Nefedov

Doctor of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of German Philology, Saint Petersburg State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract. The paper deals with the language of scientific communication in the field of linguistics, namely, with the functional potential of the interrogative structures in the form of direct and embedded questions. From a pragmatic perspective the interrogative structures does not seem to be compatible with the contexts of scientific interaction: scientists do not ask for information, but they offer their own solutions for the problem situations. This is reflected in the extremely low frequency of questions in academic research articles and monographs. Their text frequency works out a little over 2 % of the total number of the text predications and that of direct questions is about 1 %. Therefore, their place in verbalization of scientific knowledge in linguistics is metaphorically characterized in this article as «interrogative prohibition» by analogy with the «prohibitions» of Harald Weinrich who introduced several notions point to rarely used linguistic units: «prohibition of authorization» – das «Ich-Verbot», «narrative prohibition» – das «Erzähl-Verbot»; «prohibition of metaphors»– das «MetaphernVerbot». In its turn, low frequency makes the analyzed structures an effective tool to formulate the discussed problems, enables further argumentation, integrate the current text into overall linguistic discourse, control the development of the argumentation in scientific text and finally to draw the recipient's attention to a crucial or unexpected argument.

Key words: pragmatics of scientific discourse, professional communication, linguistic sublanguage, linguistic discourse, interrogativity in academic writings, direct question, embedded question, pragmatic function.

Citation. Nefedov S.T. On Functional Potential of Interrogative Structures in Academic Linguistic Discourse. Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics, 2015, no. 4 (28), pp. 65-74. (in Russian). DOI:


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