You are on page 1of 12

* Sofia University St. Kl.


1 Introduction
Historically speaking, text structure used to be the first object of linguistic, or should I say pre-
linguistic, investigations. As far back as Classical Rhetoric times, establishing the correct text
structure was the only objective with respect to which texts used to be analyzed. At present
and that is an at-least-two-century-long present linguistic effort has been predominantly
focused on linguistic unit classification (from Saussure to, notoriously, Chomsky), interpersonal
functions of utterances (from Searle to Dominiek), the maintenance of power through
discourses (e.g. Faiclough, 2007, 2005, 1995; van Dijk, 2000), discourse moves and acts (e.g.
Sinclair and Coulthard, 1975; Tsui, 1994), textual texture (Halliday, 1985, 1976), linguistic
realizations of the cognitive simulation of actions (e.g. Lagnacker, 1999; Talmy, 2000),
metaphoric and metonymic transfers within discourses (e.g. Lakoff, 2009, 1980; Johnson, 1987);
mental space operations (e.g. Turner, 2008, 2002, 2003), the fresh field of cognitive poetics (e.g.
Freeman, 2005, 2000; Zunshine, 2012), etc. Text structure has been somehow, for some reason,
and for quite some time, left out of the field.
True to fact, more modern attempts to build up on the classical rhetoric perspective do exist (e.g.
Cumming and Ono, 1997; Medhurst, 1987; Eggins and Martin, 1997). In a vein similar to the
rhetorical one, Swales proposes the existence of a four-move structure in scientific texts (1981);
van Dijk discusses setting complication resolution evaluation moral in narratives (1977);
Winter argues in favour of situation evaluation - reason for evaluation (1994); Hoey prefers
problem-solution structures (1994), etc. Hasan (Halliday and Hasan, 1985), notably, discusses a
three-part text structure. She, similarly to van Dijk, defines the term as the overall structure, the
global structure of the message form (ibid.: 53).
All research on text structure can, arguably, be summed up to display a common disadvantage
of being cognition-unrelated. All studies tend to resort, similarly to Classical rhetoric analysis,
to textual subdivisions such as introduction, body and conclusion. They also aim to establish
parameters (e.g. rhetorical persona, implied audience, temporality) on which to base the
existence of inter-textual subdivisions. Free from brain-and-mind considerations, such largely
intuitive observations have not and, probably, could not settle the controversy around the
correct inventorial list of subdivision-linked parameters and subdivision labels.
The theoretical angle on the phenomenon of text structure presented here addresses precisely
that gap in (cognitive) linguistic endeavor.

Text Structure: Movie Scripts

Nelly Tincheva *
No 5 (2012)

2 Text structure as the result of metaphoric mappings

If we accept that while producing or receiving a text, a person constructs mental networks of
cognitive models, then there exists no reason why text structure should not be seen as such a
network. After all, if text structure were not actually (the result of) cognitive operations and
mental imagery, it would not and, what is more important, it could not - exists as a human
phenomenon. Since humans (and scientists), clearly, do operate with the concept of text
structure, then the notion itself is bound to be associated with and be an explication/ realization
of actual human cognitive mechanisms and textual habits. (By habits here I mean recursive co-
occurrences of cognitive processes a phenomenon which leads to the impression of text
structure as a static mental model existing out there in a text.) And, importantly, the, lets
call it, Rhetorical perspective seems to have been disregarding that fact.
My first explorations of the concept of text structure are associated with the text-types within
the political domain (Tincheva, 2012). Aiming to differentiate political speeches from other
political text-types, the cognitive-constructs based analysis confirms that some text-types come
into being through the metaphoric mapping of the SOURCE-PATH-GOAL image schema (term
as in Lakoff and Johnson, 1980, 1999). The structure of political speeches, in particular, proves to
explicate the three parts of the image schema, adding additional constructs from the Discourse
World (term as in Werth, 1999) and the Real World networks (term as in Tincheva, 2007) to
further incorporate them and result into the text-types INITIAL STATE STEPS DESIRED
STATE structure. In other words, every political speech starts with an explication of initial
(most frequently present-time) state of affairs, which contains a political/ social problem. The
speech then moves through a description of steps which, if taken, should lead to the solution
of the problem. Then the speech ends with a description of a desired state of political/ social
affairs, in which the problem no longer exists or is mitigated. The protagonist in that structure
in the state, almost exclusively constructed as a BODY (which in itself results from the operation
of the STATE IS A BODY metaphor). The HEAD of the STATE-BODY most frequently is the
president; the common people, or citizens, tend to be constructed as other parts of the body, e.g.
In this way, the INITIAL STATE-STEPS-DESIRED STATE structure prescribes how one should
lay out a political speech when producing it. It also tells the text receiver what to expect on
hearing a political speech. Hence, for example, the intuitive feeling of incompletion, if a
political speech does not present a DESIRED STATE or if it skips the STEPS because the speaker
has no idea on how the problem should be solved.
However, several questions arise from such an understanding of text structure. The first one is
if all text-types are similarly structured through the metaphoric mapping of the SOURCE-
PATH-GOAL schema. Another question would be if all text-types use the resulting INITIAL
STATE-STEPS-DESIRED STATE structure, or the metaphoric transfer leads in their case to a
different three-part construct. The question of greatest significance here, however, would be if
the INITIAL STATE-STEPS-DESIRED STATE structure is the only kind of text structure
holding together and organizing the successive mental spaces of a whole-text. To put it simply,
the question is if text structure really is a monolithic phenomenon?
As far as the first two question are concerned, the succinct answer would have to be that not all
text-types display mapping projections of the SOURCE-PATH-GOAL image schema. Political
news and political slogans, for instance, prove to be structured quite differently and do not
explicate all three parts of the INITIAL STATE-STEPS-DESIRED STATE construct.
To try and answer the third - and main - question, the present discussion will resort to another
text-type the one of film/ movie scripts. The choice of film/ movie scripts is conditioned by the

fact that they are a (1) generally disregarded, (2) powerfully manipulative, (3) extremely visual

3 Film/ Movie scripts and text structure
For decades, script writing has been one of the best-paid and most-hated writing jobs on the
planet. It claims creativity is crucial, yet it stifles creativity. The film and movie business prides
itself on having simple and unbendable rules, and, truly, it is hard to imagine another genre so
prescriptively practiced. By rule, for a movie producer to risk money on a script, that script has
to have structure. It may have little else but structure is a must. And by structure producers,
as hard as it is to believe, mean specific things which take place on specific pages. The
following is a very popular summation (see Internet Sources 1) of what good screenplay
structure is:
1. Pages 1-5, esp. 5: The writer should present the HOOK, or that special something
which grabs the attention and pulls viewers in.
2. Page 10: The script should have the "MINI CRISIS", which leads into:
3. Page 17: ...The DILEMMA. Here the writer should create the main team of the movie
(consisting of at least a protagonist and a sidekick) and the writer should clarify what
the movie is about. Here, the script should also actualize the first major plot point,
which marks the end of Act I and the beginning of the first part of Act II.
4. Page 30: The writer should present the REACTION to the dilemma/ the difficult
situation/ protagonists commitment to a cause.
5. Page 45: This page should contain the first "REVERSAL" of the 17th-minute point. This
point furthers the characters and pushes them deeper into the situation or the
6. Page 60: The "TENT POLE" of the movie. Where the passive characters become active or
vice versa. Alternatively, it is called the point of no return.
7. This is the actual middle of the script. It is also the middle of Act II.
8. Page 75: What should happen here is the second "REVERSAL" to the 17th-minute point,
which serves to reaffirm what the story is about.
9. Page 90: The writer should show the LOWEST POINT of the action. This is the place of
almost complete desperation, at which the goal seems unattainable for the main
character(s). This also marks the end of Act II. From here on, the protagonist rises up
and wins - in Act III.*

Admittedly, structural frivolities and deviations from the above prescription may be allowed.
For example, the dilemma may be found acceptable anywhere between page 14 and 17.
However, I have also witnessed professionals in the business spread legends about a particular
producers requirements for additional page particulars, e.g., the notorious page 68, on which
viewers emotional response to the later-appearing Lowest Point (p. 90) is believed to depend.
For TV films, it should be noted, the page numbers normally vary from p. 60 onwards. The
obvious reason is that TV films almost exclusively appear in 90-minute formats instead of the
120-minute standard for movies. The necessary compression, most frequently, if not always,
happens after the 60
minute, the resolution being rushed through an earlier climax.
This is the place for me to confess to my great belief in statistical confirmation for all theories.
Hence my leap at the possibility to use already-existing almost-a-century-old statistically-
verified data on a text types structure. If an annoyingly conservative billions-of-dollars

business vouches for the structures presence and viability, what is only left for me is to try
and explain how that structure exists in the form it does.

4 Samples
To that end, let us take a closer look at the structure of Moffat, Gatiss and Thompsons
screenplays for the hugely successful BBC Sherlock series. Six films have been produced and
aired so far. The following is data from two of the films:
Episode 1 (A Study In Pink):
1. p. 1-3 introduce us to Dr. John Watson.
2. p. 3-5 show us the actual crimes which will be investigated in the episode.
3. p. 7-15 Watson meets Sherlock Holmes for the first time. Then the two rent a flat
4. p. 15 -17 Holmes is offered to help the police with their current investigation. Holmes in
his turn offers Watson to join him. Watson hesitates but, nonetheless, accepts. The team
has been built at the so-appropriate p. 17.
5. p. 30 reveals a change in Sherlocks understanding of the case he finds proof they are
not dealing with serial suicides but, instead, with serial killings.
6. p. 45 is the point at which Watsons decision to do team work with Holmes is reversed.
He begins to entertain the suspicion that Sherlock might be the actual killer.
7. p. 60 is where the murderer becomes active. He and Holmes meet in person. Sherlock
gets abducted by the murderer.
8. p. 75, as in most TV films, is the low point, at which Sherlock succumbs to the challenge
of playing the murderers game of chance and takes a possibly poisonous pill.
9. p. 90 is where the required fade out happens.

Another randomly chosen sample is
Episode 5 (The Hounds Of Baskerville)
1. p. 1 introduces us to a young Henry Baskerville, the boy he was 20 years back and the
terrifying experience he went through.
2. p. 3-5 show us Holmes at his most bored. He, Watson and Mrs. Hudson keep on with
what seem to be their daily bickering.
3. p. 5 -7 introduce Sherlock and Watson to the client a now grown-up Henry. The
problem at Baskerville is presented.
4. p. 15 17 show us how and why Holmes takes up the case. The team of all three
Holmes, Watson and Henry Baskerville - head for the countryside.
5. p. 30 is where Sherlock and Watson meet Dr. Stapleton and Dr. Frankland and discuss
genetic experimentation.
6. p. 45 is the point at which Watson and Holmes quarrel. The team breaks up and each
starts working separately on the case.
7. p. 60 shows us Watson trapped and drugged in the laboratory, presumably attacked by
the now-active murderer.
8. p. 75 is the low point, at which Henry gets lost at night on the moor, and Holmes and
Watson go search for him.
9. p. 90 is where the required fade out happens.

All the other four screenplays also display a similar compliance with the producers
requirements. Variations exist within the limits of 2-3 pages (by rule of thumb, a page of script
corresponds to a minute of screen time). The three-act structure proves to exist. what calls for
analysis is the nature of that structure. Another issue would be what cognitive principles
govern and condition its existence. Yet another point of interest is the kind of mental constructs
which the structure can be theoretically related to.

5 Types of structure in scripts
A point of departure in tackling the, lets call it, producers text structure could be the fact that
the producers page requirements above concern the way the story progresses in terms of
actions and activities, especially actions and activities performed by the protagonist. ACTIONS/
ACTIVITIES, CHARACTERS, PERSONAL GOALS, etc. can all be argued to belong within the
texts Textual World network of cognitive models.
A Textual World can be approached as a cognitive construct which organizes all activated
mental models of PEOPLE and OBJECTS. Those models can be seen as functioning as characters
and performing activities within the fictional world (similarly to what Werth, 1999, proposes).
Therefore, the producers perception of structure can safely be termed Textual World structure.
In addition, the literature on the issue affords another term which could prove helpful to the
present discussion. Werth (ibid.) distinguishes between Textual World models and Discourse
World ones. A Discourse World is defined by him as the situational context surrounding the
communicative event, which contains the participants and what they can see, hear, etc. as well
as any other, often incomplete informational input the participants can still process on the basis
of their previously-stored background knowledge (ibid.: 83). A Discourse World, consequently,
can be seen as a network of cognitive constructs in which mental representations combine to
build up a model of a communicative situation. In movie scripts, Discourse Worlds rarely play a
significant role or, to be more precise, they are profiled only when the viewers are directly
addressed through an interactive voice-over, as in e.g. Woody Allens Annie Hall, where the
voice-over directly poses questions to the viewer. For the present purposes, however, I mention
Discourse Worlds in movie scripts only to differentiate them from Textual Worlds.
Going back to the Textual World structure of movie scripts, it is clear that it proves isomorphic
with the political speech structure, namely the INITIAL STATE-PATH-DESIRED STATE
construct. In Act I, the protagonist faces a problem, or realizes the need for a goal to be achieved.
In Act II, the protagonist proceeds towards the solution of the problem, step by step,
overcoming one impediment after the other. In Act III, s/ he attains the desired goal.
Furthermore, Act II, by rule, is sub-divided into two parts, each of which is of length no
different from the length of Act I and Act III. In other words, the two parts of Act II could be,
alternatively, perceived as Act II and Act III. Then, however, the actual Act III should be termed
Act IV, which is avoided. So strong is the structuring power of the three-part image-schema
that people feel it would be unnatural to specify a fourth (additional) component, even if
that component undoubtedly exists.
Another issue which calls for clarification is the reason why, in all books and textbooks on script
writing, Acts I, II and III are integrated with the character and action requirements. The three
Acts, according to the structural explanations, should subsume the characters and actions. In
other words, while characters and actions belong within the Textual World, divisions such as
Acts are of different order and nature. Truly, the three Acts are specified in terms of a
conceptual progression. But they are also abstractions, which are actually written in the text of

theatrical plays, even if not in movies scripts. As discussed above, the Acts are associated with
the Textual World but, to my mind, they do not belong there - they do not designate Textual
World components. Acts correspond to INITIAL STATE-PATH-DESIRED STATE chunks but it
is only the latter which have to do with Textual World structure.
The place of Acts is rather within the overall structure of the script, which has to do with the
way a text can be broken down into language bits smaller than the whole text but larger than a
sentence. I employ overall text structure here to designate the organization of the language
signal used. The term helps refer to phenomena such as paragraphing or, in the case of scripts,
delimiting separate scenes and paragraphs within the scenes. Paragraphing, admittedly, is a
subjective issue. A sentence may close a paragraph by suggesting some of the elements the
following paragraph will be dedicated to; alternatively, the same sentence may be the one
opening the next paragraph. Where the sentence belongs and if there will be any paragraphing
at all, is often a matter of the linguistic skills of the text producer, as so many of our students
papers prove. Nevertheless, paragraphing does exist and it should be perceived as a part of the
textual component of the linguistic skill set. In addition to paragraphing, any structural analysis
proposed should also be able to account for similar textual subdivision such as chapters,
sections, scenes, acts, etc. Such patterns of arrangement of the linear language signal are bound
to be meaningful. They would not exist, if they did not perform a unique function related to
information processing a function no other linguistic structure performs.
Therefore, the logical question here would be: what structure do chapters, sections, scenes and
paragraphs express? What mental structuring principle do they reflect? In the case of political
speeches, the analysis of the corpus proves that, in some of the texts, each paragraph really is
associated with the mental representation of a separate STEP along the political PATH.
However, that is not always the case. Additionally, in the Textual World, the STEPS prove to
follow a chronological order, while sometimes the paragraphs go back and forth in time and
space. If paragraph boundaries really do supply indications as to structural transitions, then
there must exist yet another type of structure a structure which acts, sections, paragraphs, etc.,
Superstructure is another useful abstraction I have been resorting to in order to indicate the
ongoing mental progression of text. Superstructure can be interpreted as a three-dimensional
model of a text created online in a persons mind. It arises as the consecutive mental spaces
(Fauconnier, 1997) one operates with build-up into a network. The linguistic indication that
such an ongoing structure exists are clauses and sentences. The questions here are: how do the
mental spaces build-up the network, and why?
Before I offer my interpretation here, I would like to share a basic fact of experience. People in
general never retell a story, a movie, or even a simple everyday conversation non-
chronologically. Sometimes people do try to retell a movie the way they experienced it
through flashbacks and interrupted narration. But they, at least in my experience, always give
up and start retelling the story over, this time in chronological order. In retelling, then, I
believe it is safe to assume, one can be seen to be explicating the Textual World structure of the
story and not its superstructure. What proves (annoyingly) impossible to re-activate is the
superstructural progression of the text. What is stored in ones background knowledge, and
what can be called up later, is the Textual World structure of a text.
What can serve as psycholinguistic and neurophysiological support to that observation is
Fuksas (2008) discussion of one of Sacksclinical stories (1985). The case in question presents a
clinical test conducted on left-lateralization-based impediments in a patient. The tests reveal
how the patients visual deficit affects not only his visual capacities but also the patients visual

memory and imagination.The patient in question was, first, exposed to the text of Tolstoys
Anna Karenina. Then he was asked to retell the story of the novel. The patient

could remember incidents without difficulty, had an undiminished grasp of the
plot, but completely omitted visual characteristics, visual narratives and scenes.
He remembered the words of the characters but not their faces; and though,
when asked, he could quote, with his remarkable and almost verbatim memory,
the original visual descriptions, these were, it became apparent, quite empty for
him and lacked sensorial, imaginal, or emotional reality.
(Sacks, 1985 in Fuksas, ibid.: 2)

On the basis of that experiment, Fuksas concludes that the patients performance is deficient as
to any sort of embodied response such as sensory experiences, emotions or feelings, enacted
actions. Besides, the mere words or sentences are stored, saved as empty labels and strings,
lacking peculiar meaning.(ibid.) Furthermore, Fuksas argues that text receivers/ producers
which are not impeded by any kind of cognitive deficit do not need to memorize words,
clauses, sentences or phrases in order to understand a novel or a story in general. On the
contrary, he continues, they fail to repeat the actual linguistic signals used to explicate the
mental structures of the story. When retelling, they use linguistic forms different from those in
the original text. So, where is the text gone, asks Fuksas. Has it just disappeared as soon as the
text has been forgotten (ibid.)?
Several key points need to be noted in the clinical case in question. The first thing the case
seems to be revealing about is how one should define a text. As long as text is not taken to be
just the words recorded or written on the piece of paper, then the text can be and normally is
remembered, i.e. stored in memory. Any text, to me, exists as co-occurring cognitive processes
which run in a persons mind during the process of text production or perception. If that were
not the case, the practice of re-telling a story could never exist. If words and sentences were just
empty labels and did not emerge from the mental operation of language-signal-bound
cognitive simulations, then no knowledge of language would be attainable. Still, beyond any
doubt, people are quite capable of and do retell stories. Normally, they store and are able to
later recall the Textual World structure as if it were the bare bones of the story. Then, in re-
telling, they flesh out the underlying re-activated text structure and signal that structure
linguistically, enacting their own (frequently idiosyncratic) linguistic choices into the physical
presence of overall structure. In other words, what people store in their minds is only the
Textual World text structure, on the basis of which they create their own superstructure, which
in its turns results in the actual linguistic signals used to explicate that superstructure. As the
clinical case and Fuksas arguments above brilliantly prove, an unimpaired text processor
would not recall the actual linguistic signals; instead, s/ he would simply re-enact the story in
Psycholinguistic troubles aside, another point in favour of the existence of superstructure is the
fact that modern-day films and movies, undeniably, resort to the storytelling technique of
shifting back and forth in time. That phenomenon also verifies the presence of that third-order
type of text structure. Superstructure, to me, is represented precisely by the flashbacking, no
unity-of-place-and-time structuring device we see so often in movies. As argued above, it is also
the kind of structure which translates the Textual World into paragraphs and scenes. It is the

type of structure which speaks directly to the language-related cognitive constructs used in
explicating the ongoing mental processes.
Going back to the Sherlock series, the analysis of the corpus proves that what structurally
differentiates them from earlier screen versions of Conan Doyles works is their utilization of
superstructure. They employ non-linear story-telling techniques, while older versions avoid
flashbacking and non-linearity, even in cases when the original stories are told through
accounts of past events (as in e.g. The Hound of the Baskervilles). In other words, modern
script-writing does not prefer a coincidence between Textual World structure and
superstructure. It can be even argued that all six Sherlock scripts try for maximum divergence
between the two types of structure.
Why that dis-preference exists may be explained through the notion of cognitive load. The
divergence between Textual World structure and superstructure means that a text receiver (or a
movie-goer) would have to move back and forth repeatedly not only in terms of time and space
but also between the two types of text structure. In order to understand, i.e. to decode plausibly
the chunk of the movie s/ he is currently viewing, the product receiver needs to find the place of
a current superstructural chunk within the Textual World. Then s/ he will have to attach that
superstructural chunk to that right place, i.e. s/ would have to remember it (store it in short-
term memory) and keep it activated for later reference. We have all experienced questions such
as: does what Im watching/ reading now happen in the past, or in the future? Is it real or a
dream? Should what Im watching/ reading be interpreted from the protagonists point of view
or from that of the sidekick? The greater the number of the cognitive operations that need to be
run in order for the text/ movie to be comprehended, the greater the cognitive load, and - as
audience reactions over the globe have proved the greater the interest value of the text/

6 Cognition-based support of the hypothesized types of text structure

The major confirmations of the actual existence of the hypothesized types of text structure stem,
first and foremost, from work within the realm of cognitive linguistics. Studies such as
Feldmans Neural Theory of Language (Feldman, 2006; Feldman and Narayanan, 2004); Slobins
(2005) Cognitive Philosophy of Language; Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Lakoff and Johnson,
1980; Goatly, 2007; Bednarek, 2005; Ahrens et al. 2003, 2004, etc.); Conceptual Blending Theory
(e.g. Fauconnier and Turner, 1998); Turners The Mind-Is-A Vortex view (2008), his Double-
scope Stories (2003) and later (2011) hypothesis about the origin of culture as emergent from
embodied metaphor - all they derive from and rely on the crucial understanding of the
importance of bodily experience to the existence and perpetuation of language.
Out of the long list of influential theories, an interpretation of special significance to the present
discussion is Lakoffs Neural Theory of Metaphor (2009). On Lakoffs approach, and in
continuation to Feldmans special kind of structured connectionism, mirror neurons occur in
fiber bundles connecting pre-motor/SMA cortex (which choreographs actions) with the parietal
cortex (which integrates perceptions (ibid.:3). The result from mirror neurons firing is that the
same flow of neural activity may simulate the processing of both a real-life orientational
enactment of the SOURCE-PATH-GOAL image schema as well as that of a text about
purposeful motion which employs the SOURCE-PATH-GOAL schema.
Another basic tenet of the theory is that when two neuron groups fire at the same time, what
ensues is spreading activation, which connects the network links and we experience a chain of
thought. When two activation-spreading processes co-occur, and meet, what is formed is the so-
called circuit. Subsequent co-activations of the two processes lead to the stabilization of the

emergent link. As Lakoff claims, and proves (ibid.), this precisely is the mechanism through
which primary metaphors are formed and perpetuated.
Another important aspect is that metaphoric transfer and processing has never been associated
in the literature with one level of language only (the concept of conceptual metaphor,
practically, runs contrary to the notion of levels itself). By definition, metaphor is an all-
pervasive conceptual tool, which influences the nature of all meanings and controls all our
inferences (e.g. Johnson, 1987: xii). It does so by operating along all language facets (i.e. all
phonological, syntactic, pragmatic, etc. structures) simultaneously. Consequently, the
metaphoric transfer of the SOURCE-PATH-GOAL image schema, which proves to be the one
governing the Textual World structure of movie scripts, has no reason to not be enacted along
the same lines of circuit building through spreading activation.
To sum up, bodily experience and its implications for cognitive constructive processes are
crucial to the realization of the difference between Textual World (text) structure and
superstructure. While both types of structure are embodied, as any human cognitive
phenomenon is, it is only the former which emerges directly from basic bodily experience
from the SOURCE-PATH-GOAL image schema. Truly, both types of structure are pre-
conditioned and governed online by our basic body-and-brain capacities. But it is only the
former which directly emerges from bodily perceptions. In other words, it is only Textual
World structure which directly grounds the textual practice of script production/
comprehension in our human capacities. Perhaps, that is also the reason why, in practice, it is
almost exclusively Textual World structure which is salient to film/ movie producers.

A last point to note is that, admittedly, and contrary to the progress in neural theories of vision,
motor control and brain functioning in general, currently no one knows the details of how
words or sentences are processed in the brain, and there is no known methodology for finding
out (Feldman, 2006: 4). Many researchers, Feldman continues, believe it is premature (perhaps
by centuries) to formulate explicit theories linking language to neural computation. (ibid.) But
Feldman also expresses his firm support for theories which put forward working models of our
object of study, and which, even when wrong, keep pointing to useful experiments.

Not in any way differentiated from such an understanding of cognitive studies, the present
discussion tries to provide grist for the mill of future investigations on text and its (types of)
structure. Hopefully, future neuropsychological experiments will (dis)prove the present theory.

7 Conclusion

The paper aimed to present an alternative cognition-based view on text structure. It proves that
text structure is not and should not be approached as a monolithic phenomenon. There exist at
least three types of structure in whole texts Textual World structure, superstructure and
overall structure. The first type, and only the first type, is the one governed by and resulting
from the metaphoric operation of a particular image-schema.

To further aggravate matters, even a cursory look at the Rhetorical descriptive labels, with
which the concept of text structure is normally associated (e.g. introduction, complication,
evaluation, conclusion) suggests the possible existence of yet another type of text structure -
academic structure. That, however, would be an object of further analysis.


Ahrens, K. et al. 2003. Conceptual metaphors: Ontology-based representation and corpora
driven Mapping Principles. In the Proceedings of the ACL Workshop on the Lexicon and Figurative
Language (pp. 35-41).

Chomsky, N. 1986. Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use. New York and London:

Cumming, S. and Ts. Ono. 1997. Discourse and Grammar. In: van Dijk, T. A. (ed.) Discourse as
Structure and Process. London: Sage Publications: 112-137.

Dominiek, S. et al. 2009. Cognition and Pragmatics. John Benjamins

Eggins, S. & J. R. Martin 1997. Genres and registers of discourse. In: Van

Fairclough, N. 2007, (ed.). Discourse and Contemporary Social Change. Berne

Fairclough, N. 2005. Peripheral Vision: Discourse Analysis in Organization Studies: The Case
for Critical Realism. Organization Studies (Sage Publications Inc.) 26(6): pp. 915-939

Fairclough, N. 1995. Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Longman

Fauconnier, G. and Turner, M. 1998. Conceptual Integration Networks. Cognitive Science, 22 (2):
pp. 133-87

Fauconnier. G. 1997. Mappings in Thought and Language. Cambridge University Press

Feldman, J. 2006. From Molecule to Metaphor (A Neural Theory of Language). MIT Press.

Feldman, J. and Narayanan, S. 2004. Embodied meaning in a neural theory of language. Brain
and Language, 89 (2), pp. 385392

Freeman, M. 2005. Poetry as Power: The Dynamics of Cognitive Poetics as a Scientific and
Literary Paradigm. In: Veivo, H., Pettersson, B. and M. Polvinen (eds.) Cognition and literary
interpretation in practice, pp. 31-57, Helsinki University Press

Freeman, M. 2000. Poetry and the Scope of Metaphor: Toward a Cognitive Theory of Literature.
In: Barcelona, A. (ed.) Metaphor and metonymy at the crossroads: a cognitive perspective, pp. 253-281,
Mouton de Gruyter

Fuksas, A. 2008. The embodied Novel. Cognitive Philology 2008 (1)

Goatly, A. 2007. Washing the Brain Metaphor and Hidden Ideology. John Benjamins Publishing

Halliday, M.A.K. and R. Hasan. 1976. Cohesion in English. London: Longman

Halliday, M.A.K. and R. Hasan. 1985. Language, Context, and Text: Aspects of Language in a Social-
semiotic Perspective. Deakin University Press.

Hoey, M. 1979. Signalling in Discourse. Birmingham: University of Birmingham

Johnson, M. 1987. The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason.
University of Chicago Press

Lakoff, G. 2009. The Neural Theory of Metaphor. Earslier version in: R. Gibbs. 2008 The Metaphor
Handbook, Cambridge University Press.

Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. 1999. Philosophy In The Flesh. Basic Books

Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. 1980. Metaphors We Live By. Universiy of Chicago Press

Langacker, R. 1999. Grammar and conceptualization. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Medhurst, M. J. 1987. Eisenhowers atoms for peace speech: a case study in the strategic use
of language, Communication Monographs, 54 (2): 204-20.

Sacks, O. 1985. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. New York-London

Saussure, F. de. 1966. Course in General Linguistics (trans. Baskin, W.). New York: McGraw Hill.
Sinclair, J. and M. Coulthard. 1975. Towards an Analysis of Discourse. Oxford University Press

Slobin, D. 2005. Relating Narrative Events in Translation. In: David, R. and H. B. Shyldkrot (eds.)
Perspectives on language and language development: Essays in honor of Ruth A. Berman, p. 115-129.
Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Slobin, D. 1987. Thinking for speaking. Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley
LinguisticsSociety, pp. 435-445
Swales, J. 1990. Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research settings. Cambridge University

Talmy, L. 2000. Toward a Cognitive Semantics. Vol. I and II. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Tincheva, N. 2012. Political Speeches (A Cognitive Perspective on Text and Structure). Sofia: Askoni

Tincheva, N. 2007. Contexts, Text Worlds and Discourse Worlds. In: . (On
Man and Language) Sofia: St. Kliment Ohridski Press.
Online: Contexts, Discourse Worlds, Text Worlds. Cognitive Science Network.

Tsui, A. 1994. English Conversation. Oxford University Press

Turner, M. 2008. The Mind is an Autocatalytic Vortex. The Literary Mind, Volume 24

Turner, M. 2003. Double-scope stories. In: Herman, D. (ed.) Narrative Theory and the Cognitive
Sciences. Routledge

Turner, M. and G. Fauconnier. 2002. The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind's
Hidden Complexities. New York: Basic Books.

van Dijk , T. 2000. Cognitive Discourse Analysis. An Introduction. On-line Available: and

van Dijk, T. A. 1997 (ed.) Discourse as Structure and Process. Discourse Studies: A Multidisciplinary
Introduction, Volume 1. London: Sage Publications: 230-256.

Winter, E. 1994. Clause Relations as Information Structure: two basis text structures in English.
In: Coulthard, M. (ed.) Advances in Written Text Analysis Routledge, London.

Werth, P. 1999. Text Worlds: Representing Conceptual Space in Discourse. London: Longman

Zunshine, L. 2012. Getting Inside Your Head: What Cognitive Science Can Tell
Us About Popular Culture. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press