Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

Scientific Style.

Scientific Style


- provides information

- presents exact and relatively complete scientific knowledge

- addresses a relatively small group of professionals well acquainted with the subject


- primarily written: essays, articles, textbooks, scientific studies

- spoken: presentations, discussions, conferences

- monologue: no feedback, no situational context, no paralinguistic features


- the style of exact science: more impersonal

- the style of humanities: closer to the publicistic style, also shares features with the literary style

General Characteristics

- matter-of-fact, clear, explicit; unambiguous, precise; concise, brevet

- stereotypical in terms of both lexicology and syntax

- impersonal, objective, suppresses the personality of the author

- logical hierarchy within the text: introduction, argument, conclusion and résumé

- quotations and references to other texts

- highly nominal character

- diagrams, charts, sketches, illustrations

Morphological Features

- present tense: timeless validity of the proposition

Syntactical Features

- neutral word-order, no marked word-order

- mostly declarative sentences

- sentence condensers /participles, infinitives, gerunds/ and semi-clausal structures

- no ellipsis, no omission of ‘that’ and ‘which’ in relative clauses

- impersonal passive constructions /‘it should be pointed out that…; it has been found out that…; it has previously been shown that…’/

- active construction with the authorial pronoun ‘we’ /‘we deduce, observe, define, obtain, assume, note’/

Causative constructions

- ‘make/render N ADJ’ /‘this makes the problem easy; this renders the metal hard’/

- ‘enable, allow, permit, cause, make INF’ /‘safety valves allow the metal to cool slowly’/

Theme /topic/ > rheme /focus/

- ‘there’ constructions /‘there is, seems, appears, stands, lives, lies’/

- clefts for any constituents but verbal ones /‘it is … that’/

- pseudoclefts for verbal constituents /‘what is…’/

- rheme marked by indefinite article or null article with plural, abstracts, uncountable nouns

- theme marked by definite article, pronouns, anaphoric reference by ‘such, similar, one – the other’


- ‘it is ADJ to…’ /‘it is possible, necessary, essential to do sth’/

- ‘it is ADV that…’ /‘it is likely, evident, obvious that…’/

- ‘it is/has been/can be/will be/should be proved/shown/realised’

Semantic condensers

- noun groups /‘starving children government funds’/

- condensed titles /‘the search-and-rescue laser’/


- conjunctions ‘thus, however, therefore’ /also ‘furthermore, nevertheless, consequently, etc.’/

- phrases /‘in fact, in short, in general, in this way, in other words, as we have just seen’/

- subordinating conjunctions, referential pronouns, demonstrative pronouns /hierarchy/

Modals /must, should, ought, can, may, might/

- little semantic meaning, esp. when followed by verbs ‘to note, notice, remark, observe, mention’

- expression of objective propositional modality /‘it might be remarked that…’/

- ‘should’ preferred to ‘must’ /‘safety precautions should be observed at all times’/

- the verb ‘would’ for repeated action /‘the instrument would give readings every ten minutes’/

- the verbs ‘will, to be, to let’ will little semantic and more modal meaning /‘it is also to be noted that…; it will be noticed that…; let it be mentioned that…’/

- the verbs ‘to seem, to appear’ for understatement for the sake of objectivity

Lexical Features

- most frequent word categories: nouns and adjectives

- terminology = words with clearly defined fixed meaning in a particular scientific discipline

- half-terms shared by all sciences /‘process, effect, feature; to function, operate, modify’/

- bookish words /‘negligible, obviate, propagate’/

- proper names, numbers, figures

- neutral expressions

- no words outside the standard language variety; no dialect, no slang

- no emotional words, no interjections, no phraseology

x but: some terms emotional for the sake of expressing their motivation /‘dead space; conductor alive; softlanding; splash-down; hardware; Big Bang’/

x AmE: emotional words, colloquial words, similes esp. in titles /‘saving lasers from suicide; the laser goes to the office’/

Special Nomenclature

- scientific terminology: hepatitis, hypnosis, arthritic disorders, virus, millimetre; impressionism, rotunda, mezzo soprano; dolomite prairies, gravely soils, limestone, sea level; Milky Way, black hole; Velvet Revolution


Popular Scientific Style

Relations to Other Styles

- influenced by the colloquial style

- shares some features with the publicistic style

- also shares some features with the colloquial style


- provides information

- informs about latest developments in various scientific fields

- presents even complicated topics in an interesting way

- popularises the scientific style

- addresses general public

General Characteristics

- scientific style x popular scientific style

- more graphics

- more descriptive

Syntactical Features

- shorter sentences

- ‘to’ infinitive for future /‘computer to design lenses; supermarkets to have laser scanners’/

Lexical Features

- terms explained, demonstrated by an example, paraphrased

- no specific terminology

- emotional words, similes, analogy

Základní údaje

  • Přednáška

  • Semestr

    Zimní semestr 2005/06.
  • Přednášející

    Václav Řeřicha.
  • Status

    Povinná přednáška pro III. blok.


Gal'perin, Il'ja Romanovič. Stylistics. Moskva: Vysšaja škola, 1971.

Knittlová, Dagmar, Ida Rochovanská. Funkční styly v angličtině a češtině. I. díl. Olomouc: Univerzita Palackého Olomouc, 1977.


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