4 de mar. de 2023

Classification of texts according to context, purpose and role of interlocutors

Foto de Jessica Ruscello na Unsplash

Text genres are classifications used to determine texts according to their characteristics in relation to a context. The textual genre is identified based on the purpose, function and context of the text. It is the characteristics of the text that determine to which genre it belongs.

Genres vary according to the communicative intention and the particularities in relation to language, structure and content. Thus, textual genres play a social role within a communication process.

The communication process takes place through textual genres, as they are closely linked to the history of communication and language. Each textual genre presents specificities that allow its classification to be identified. Genres have their own structures and characteristics, however, it is worth mentioning that they are flexible and do not have a fixed structure.

Thus, textual genres are in constant evolution. This means that depending on the need for communication, new genres can emerge. Language appears in texts in different ways. Some texts may present more than one type of language, in others the language may appear in a mixed form. Therefore, to identify the genre of a text, it is necessary to observe the predominant language. For this, the first step is to know what are the types of textual genres.

Difference between text types and genres

Frequently, there is confusion between types of texts and textual genres, but these are distinct categories of textual classification. Each text has specific language and structure. The texts differ both in terms of form and content. When classifying a text, all these characteristics are taken into account.

The classification of textual genres is based on their content, while textual types are classified according to their form. Thus, text genres are existing classifications within the predefined models of text types. Genres have structures and thematic content that facilitate their definition. Therefore, in each type of text there are specific genres.

There are many text genres, they are flexible and subject to change. Examples of genres are: novel, short story, fable, legend, news, letter, medicine leaflet, shopping list, restaurant menu, among others. When it comes to text types, the classifications are fixed. They define and differentiate the text based on structure and linguistic aspects. The textual types are divided into: narrative, descriptive, dissertation, expository and injunctive.

Therefore, to understand the basic difference between the two classifications, it is necessary to understand that textual genre is the concrete part and textual typology is the part that integrates a more theoretical, more formal field.

How genres fit into each text type

Text genres have specific characteristics that differentiate one text from another. However, texts are not necessarily exclusive to a specific genre. Therefore, when analyzing a text, it is necessary to observe the predominant characteristics, in order to identify the genre. It should be noted that the textual genre does not exclude the textual type, on the contrary, the characteristics of the textual types are presented more broadly, as they are analyzed based on the context in which they are used.

Know some textual genres inserted in each textual type:

Narrative text: a text classified in the narrative type has a basic structure formed by: presentation, development, climax and outcome. Texts of this type are characterized by the presentation of the actions of characters in a given time and space. Among the textual genres belonging to the narrative textual type are: novels, short stories, fables, novels and chronicles.

Descriptive text: the descriptive type has texts that report or describe events, places or beings. The narrative text usually has adjectives that convey the sensations of the sender. The textual genres that are part of the descriptive texts are: diaries, travel reports, tourist brochures, restaurant menus, classifieds, among others.

Expository text: expository texts have the function of exposing ideas using resources of comparison, conceptualization, definition, information and description. The textual genres that are part of the expository textual type are: newspapers, encyclopedias, school summaries, dictionary entries, among others.

Argumentative text: this textual type is used with the aim of approaching a topic using arguments, that is, it is a text characterized by point of view defenses. Its structure is formed by introduction, development and conclusion. Opinion articles, petitions and manifestos are examples of textual genres that belong to argumentative texts.

Injunctive text: the injunctive textual type is characterized by indicating instructions, so that the sender seeks to persuade and guide the interlocutor. Therefore, one of its characteristics is the use of verbs in the imperative. The genres that belong to injunctive texts are culinary recipes, instruction manuals, medicine leaflets, among others.

Prescriptive text: prescriptive texts are those intended to instruct the reader regarding the procedure. These texts, in a way, impede the reader's freedom of action, as they decree that he follows what the text says. This textual typology encompasses textual genres such as laws, contractual clauses, public tender notices, among others.

Difference between textual genres and literary genres

Unlike textual genres, which are responsible for classifying any type of text, literary genres classify only literary texts. For this classification, aspects such as: common formal characteristics in literary works are taken into account, in addition to structural, contextual and semantic criteria. Examples of literary genres are: lyrical genre, epic or narrative genre, dramatic genre.

Abstract about textual genre

We call textual genre the classifications created to group texts according to their characteristics. There are several types of textual genres, ranging from the novel and the fable, to the medicine leaflet, including news.

Some texts may even be composed of more than one textual genre. Generally, in these cases, the genre most present throughout the text is taken into account. 

Good reading, Casa de Livro

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