Ryabtseva N.К. Academic Paper Titles and Their Dominating Patterns: a Russian-English Perspective

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2018.2.4

Nadezhda K. Ryabtseva

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Head of Department of Applied Linguistics, Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences

Bolshoy Kislovskiy St., 1, bld. 1, 125009 Moscow, Russia

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Abstract. The article shows the key role that academic paper titles play in presenting paper contents and burden, and demonstrates cultural and linguistic differences between the academic style in Russian and in English. The author explains the way the academic style is connected with language's grammatical structure and its culturespecific communicative patterns, and illustrates that the prevailing paper titles' patterns are predetermined by academic style dominants in a particular language. The fundamental difference in paper titles organization in Russian and English academic style is that in Russian the prevailing pattern in naming a paper has traditionally been an extended single noun group with several prepositional and postpositional subordinates, predominantly in Genitive. In English, on the contrary, the title in most cases consists in two parts connected by a column, full stop, conjunction or a preposition. That is why there is a communicative asymmetry in academic paper titles' verbalization principles in Russian and in English, as these principles are mostly language specific and have their own dominating linguistic patterns. It is also explicated that there is an asymmetry between academic paper titles in Russian and in English not only in their structure and organization, but in lexicon as well. That is why paper titles translated word-for-word from Russian into English often fail to map standard stylistic patterns characteristic to academic English. There are some comments as well on a rather new pattern in titling academic papers across languages. It has to do with using various expressive stylistic means, which never fail to attract peers' attention. There are also some comments on using "translator's false friends" in rendering academic paper titles from Russian into English, particularly by native Russian speakers. The research is based on extensive linguistic corpus data (10 000 paper titles authored by native Russian and English speakers), has practical implications and guidelines, as well as proposes some topical theoretical interpretations concerning its subject matter.

Key words: academic English, academic Russian, scientific paper titles, crosslinguistic asymmetry, languagespecific communicative patterns, 'attention attracting titles'.

Citation. Ryabtseva N.К. Academic Paper Titles and Their Dominating Patterns: a Russian-English Perspective. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2, Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2018, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 33-43. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2018.2.4

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