The Title of a Literary Text as a Discursive Phenomenon

Document Type : Research Article


Belgorod State University, Belgorod, Russia


Modern text linguistics pays serious attention to the significant structural elements of the text, which carry special knowledge. Such structural elements include the title. In this article, the title is considered as a linguistic and cognitive characteristic and a spatially fixed structural element of the text – «frame», which is located around/before/behind the text, focusing on the importance of the title position in the research of discourse of writer. The titles refer to the elements of the text that carry a special «presuppositional» knowledge, on the basis of which the title as a constructive element of the text requires analysis, mediated by inclusion in the speech-thinking continuum. At that, the title occupies a dominant, but secondary role in relation to the text. In the context of a linguistic and cultural scientific paradigm, the title can be considered as a special text of culture, reflecting the worldview of a particular author and the linguistic picture of the world of the people as a whole. In addition, the header can be comprehended as the object of cognitive linguistics in the aspect of knowledge study about the outer world, carried out by means of language. The duality of the title, on the one hand, is manifested in its «auto semantics», and the independence of this informative unit of the text; on the other hand, its inclusion in the text determines its ontological specificity.  In this regard, the two-pronged approach – linguistic  and cognitive – combines conceptual analysis with discourse and is very productive in relation to the understanding of the structural elements of the text as a whole and titles – in particular – as representations of the individual picture of the world of the author's , resulting in the process of cognition, since the originality of the linguistic picture of the world of an author is manifested in the choice and combination of lexical means in accordance with a certain artistic purpose and author's attitude and it  reflects the general direction of the work and the peculiarities of the linguistic picture of the world of the artist of word.