Der Fachtext als komplexes Wissenssystem. Ein interdisziplinäres Konzept.

  • Klaus-Dieter Baumann Universität Leipzig


The increasing interest of the current LSP research in cognitive science has led to a broadening and deepening of its subject-matter, now including the communicativecognitive procedures of information transfer and mental processing of information at all levels of LSP communication. As a consequence of this paradigmatic change, LSP research has been confronted with the comprehensive analysis of knowledge systems being transformed by encoding processes into language elements and relations at the textual level (Baumann 1992, 146-149). A great number of LSP text analyses have demonstrated that LSP is a regular part of the process of specialist thinking (Baumann 1994). Undoubtedly, this insight has paved the way for a methodologically promising interdisciplinary analysis of the interrelation between language and thinking. In this context the communicative aspect of LSP is to be considered as the result of multiple, highly interactive knowledge systems. Because knowledge systems as the initial and final part of LSP communication cannot be observed directly, LSP research and cognitive science together must try to re-construct knowledge components and strategies in various fields of specialist actions. When dealing with these crucial problems it becomes apparent that a typology of knowledge is an unavoidable precondition for studying the language realisation of knowledge structures. From the methodological and methodical point of view it seems to be promising to include all those structural and functional elements and relations into this theory which play - on the various hierarchical levels of communication - an important role in text and information processing. This work is based upon an inductive-empirical analysis of English and German LSP texts - all belonging to one and the same text form, article (articles from an encyclopedia, scientific articles, popular-science articles) - from the fields of medicine and linguistics in English and German. Our interdisciplinary approach to the LSP text corpus is based upon descriptive, functional, structural, comparative, statistical and other methods. Finally, we have found that ten different, hierarchically working types of knowledge do determine LSP communication: i.e. the intercultural, social and situational, metacognitive, specialized, functional, textual, syntactical, stylistic and semantic.