Translated title of the contribution: Vocabulary of official records in the aspect of discursive formation ⇜discontinuity⇝ (based on the materials of records dated by 1917-1933)

Natalia A. Mishankina, Olga A. Chernysh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the article is to identify quantitative characteristics of the lexical organisation of the text of the record in the aspect of the “discontinuity” of discursive unity caused by changes in the social reality in 1917-1933. Methodologically, the research is based on Michel Foucault's thesis on the “discontinuity” of discursive formations within discursive unity. Document discourse preserves the unity of the basic function and transforming in the aspect of language specificity and thus allows arguing this thesis. The discursive approach allows interpreting the repercussions of the social processes in the document corpus in a new way. Despite its function of fixing the sequence of real social events and their documentary proof, the record is scarcely investigated in this aspect. In the research, the leading methodological approach is discourse analysis; the main method is automated content analysis. The material for the analysis was corpora of records (1) of Tomsk Governorate People's Assembly dated by 1917 (25 documents, 91,686 word usages) and (2) of meetings at Tomsk institutions dated by 1918-1933 (126 documents, 41,630 word usages). The research showed that these corpora have significant difference in terms of lexical organisation. On the on hand, the document texts of the corpora demonstrate belonging to a discursive unity: they meet the factographic requirement and contain discursive markers (nomination of the type of document, typical communicative situations (and their parts), participants in communication, communicative actions), which indicates their belonging to the sphere of institutional communication. On the other hand, the quantitative analysis of the vocabulary shows the “discontinuity” of discursive formation, which is manifested: (1) in the different composition of categories and different usage of discursive markers: the markers of the 1918-1933 corpus show a much greater tendency to uniformity; (2) in the signs of transformation observed in the lexical organisation of the record: (a) an increase in the frequency of lexical units denoting new social and political phenomena, social statuses and actions (including punitive ones); (b) a decrease in the frequency of lexical units denoting both disappeared realities (nominations of territorial units) and phenomena which have lost their significance in the new social order. Thus, it can be argued that the lexical organisation of the record of different historical periods shows the “discontinuity” of discursive unity, and the analysed corpora can be considered different discursive formations. This “discontinuity” is primarily due to the changed social reality.

Translated title of the contributionVocabulary of official records in the aspect of discursive formation ⇜discontinuity⇝ (based on the materials of records dated by 1917-1933)
Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)107-131
Number of pages25
JournalVestnik Tomskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta, Filologiya
Issue number66
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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