Scientific Style. Its Criteria and Linguistic peculiarities.
The purpose of science as a branch of human activity is to disclose by research the inner substance of things and phenomena of objective reality and find out the laws regulating them, thus enabling man to predict, control and direct their future development in order to improve the material and social life of mankind.
The genre of scientific works is mostly characteristic of the written form of language (scientific articles, monographs or textbooks), but it may also be found in its oral form (in scientific reports, lectures, discussions at conferences, etc.); in the latter case this style has some features of colloquial speech.
The style of scientific prose is therefore mainly characterized by an arrangement of language means which will bring proofs to clinch a theory. The main function of scientific prose is proof. The selection of language means must therefore meet this principle requirement.
The language of science is governed by the aim of the functional style of scientific prose, which is to prove a hypothesis, to create new concepts, to disclose the internal laws of existence, development, relations between different phenomena, etc. The language means used, therefore, tend to be objective, precise, unemotional, devoid of any individuality; thfcre is a striving for the most generalized form of expression.
The first and most noticeable feature of this style is the logical sequence of utterances with clear indication of their interrelations and interdependence. It will not be an exaggeration to say that in no other functional style do we find such a developed and varied system of connectives as in scientific prose.
The most frequently words used in scientific prose are functional words – conjunctions and prepositions. The first 100 most frequent words of this style comprises the following units: a) prepositions: of, to, in, for, with, on, at, by, from, out, about, down; b) prepositional phrases: in terms of; in view of, in spite of, in common with, on behalf of, as a result of; by means of, on the ground of, in case of; c) conjunctional phrases: in order that, in case that, in spite of the fact that, on the ground that, for fear that; d) pronouns: one, it, we, they; e) notional words: people, time, two, like, man, made, years.
Style-forming features: great role of tradition in the use of language means, objective and non-categorical presentation, specific means of expression, a certain extent of emphasis, restrictions in the use of intensification, evaluation, emotional language means, absence of imagery.
lexical means - highly specialized scientific terminology, terminological groups, revealing the conceptual systems of the scientific style, the peculiarities of the use of terms in scientific speech, the use of nouns and verbs in abstract meanings, special reference words, scientific phraseology - clichés, stereotyped and hackneyed word combinations and idioms, priority of neutral vocabulary, limitations in the use of emotional- evaluative and expressive vocabulary and phraseology, absence of non-literary vocabulary and phraseology ( slang words, vulgarisms, obscene words) , peculiarities in word- building (standard suffixes and prefixes, mainly of Greek and Latin origin – tele-, morpho, philo- -ism, etc.), peculiarities in the scarce use of imagery (usually trite and hackneyed, the priority of the functions of intensification and decoration, non-systematic, narrow contextual character, absence of rich associations, schematic and generalized character);
grammatical means: nominal character ( the predominance of nouns over verbs) in the use of parts of speech, the use of prepositional “of-phrases” to substitute the genitive case, transposition of the classes of nouns, wide use of the Passive Voice, Indefinite Tenses, specialization of pronouns in demonstrative and intensification functions, numerous conjunctions revealing the logical order of the text as well as double conjunctions ( not merely... but also, whether ... or both... and, as...as), adverbs of logical connectuin ;
syntactical means: priority of full, logically correct, regular syntactical models, the syntax of simple sentence in the scientific speech - extensive use of extended two-member sentence, priority in the use of compound sentences, extensive use of secondary predicative constructions ( Complex Object, Participial and Gerundial Constructions), wide use of conjunctions and denominative prepositions, concise expression of syntactical connection in word combinations, sentences, groups of sentences, absolute priority of declarative sentences in the use of communicative types of sentences;
composition of scientific text as an explication of the stages of cognition and productive thinking, the usual model is presented by the following scheme - a problem situation, idea, hypothesis, proof, conclusion, compositional speech forms of discussion, argumentation and description, conclusion, types of narration, wide-spread co-referential repetition as a specific method of text development.