Textual typology characteristics and types

Textual typology

The textual typology is the way in which the information or message is presented. It is the way in which an immense variety of texts can be organized and classified. In this article we will explain the Textual typology with characteristics.

Texts can be presented in many ways, and being able to recognize them is essential not only for their analysis, but for understanding them. A first classification could be proposed: according to the communicative intention and according to the form of the message.

Within these two large groups there are other subdivisions, such as narrative, descriptive, argumentative, expository, dialogues, literary, informative, prescriptive or persuasive texts.

Another possible classification could be in factual texts and literary texts. The factual texts are those that persuade, inform or teach with an objective language, and literary texts want to provoke emotions in the reader through language. But, as we see, the focus here is also directed to intentionality, that is, to the communicative intention.

Characteristics of the textual typology

Textual sequence and complexity of the text

We can find texts that contain several textual typologies: a descriptive text that has dialogues, a narrative text with descriptive passages or arguments, etc. Herein lies the difficulty in classifying a text and analyzing it.

For this reason, the linguist JM Adam proposed the idea of ​​textual sequence as a tool to recognize a certain communicative scheme within the same text. The textual sequence studies the internal organization of the message, that is, how the sentences are organized.

That is why one cannot speak of a “pure” text: purely narrative, purely argumentative, and so on. All texts, whatever their type, can present (and do) different textual typologies.

Dominant sequence

The same French linguist proposed the idea of ​​a dominant sequence, which would be a way of typifying a text. Taking into account the variety of possibilities, the dominant sequence is the one that manifests itself in a text in the greatest proportion.

For example, a biography is considered a narrative text, since in it the succession of actions of the character in a time axis can be noticed; however, it can also be combined with descriptive passages, dialogues, arguments, etc.

Therefore, a text will be argumentative, prescriptive, narrative, etc., to the extent that the dominant sequence determines it.

Sequence autonomy

In a text, the sequences (the passages with a certain textual typology) are autonomous but maintain dependency: that is, although they are made in the text they can also be isolated.

For example, in an opinion article, whose dominant sequence is the argumentative one, minor sequences (narrative, explanatory) can be noticed that, although present, can be isolated from the larger text and retain their meaning. They help the general understanding of the text and strengthen your communicative intention.

Types of texts

We will be guided by the typification that we commented at the beginning: according to the communicative intention and according to the form that the message takes.

According to the communicative intention

  • Informative texts

Its purpose is to inform, to say something to the reader objectively, to provide data so that they obtain greater knowledge.

Examples of informative texts are popular articles in magazines, scientific or technological texts, reports, news, reports, debates, minutes, etc.

  • Persuasive texts

It seeks to persuade people, to convince them. Advertising texts are characteristic, where the intention is for a person to do what is recommended. It goes directly to the reader or viewer (appealing function) waiting for them to react.

  • Prescriptive

Among the prescriptive texts we can point out the normative and the instructive ones. Both are intended to guide or guide the reader, tell him how to do something. In some cases a list of resources should be obtained and then a step-by-step description of the process is given.

It is common for these texts to also contain diagrams, drawings or illustrations to graphically support the text. They have a well-defined objective, which is usually revealed in the title itself (for example, “Manual for assembling a bed”, “Labor Law”, “Chicken and mole recipe”).

Examples are the manuals, the instructions for assembling objects, the texts of the laws, the cooking recipes or the medical recipes.

  • Literary

Literary texts are those that seek to generate emotions and aesthetic pleasure in the reader. Within literary texts we find novels, stories, poems and plays (also called dramatic texts).

They are characterized by the use of the 1st person singular or the 3rd narrative. The expression of the self is common, because the author tells something from his point of view. A literary text usually contains dialogues, descriptions, and narrations.

According to the form of the message

  • Narrative texts

The narrative texts relate facts, stories –imaginary or real–, events that have happened or will happen. Action verbs abound and are usually conjugated in the past tense. Dialogues are common.

Examples of narrative texts are biographies, novels and stories, the news, but we also make use of narrative text when we tell a friend how it went at a party or tell a movie.

  • Descriptive texts

A descriptive text tells how something is, shows us the characteristics of people, animals or things, landscapes, emotions, etc., in such a way that the reader can imagine them.

He uses many adjectives , in addition to adverbial expressions (comfortably, like this, slowly …) and positional or state verbs (to be, to seem, to result, etc.).

They are usually part of novels and stories but, for example, tourist guides are also descriptive.

  • Expository texts

Expository texts, as their name indicates, expose ideas, concepts, define, explain things in order to make them understood. They teach by exemplification.

They transmit information in an organized way about a certain aspect of reality. An expository text can be an essay, a monograph, a presentation, etc., and usually presents an introduction to the topic, a development and a conclusion.

Expository texts can be scientific or humanistic.

  • Argumentative texts

They are those texts that want to convince the reader of an idea or proposal using arguments or reasons. It is the difference with the persuasive or advertising, who want to persuade through emotions.

They are characterized by presenting the content in an organized way, through premises that are refuted or reinforced throughout the text, depending on the author’s intention. Examples are scientific or philosophical articles where new theses are raised or old ones are refuted, opinion articles, etc.

  • Dialogue texts

It is the presentation of the exchange of information between two or more people, alternating the use of the word. Theatrical works, film scripts, dialogues in novels and stories, interviews, debates, etc. are typical.

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