Texts types


The initial corpus covers six centuries (13th-18th). The texts, in prose, verse and mixed form, are organised into temporal slices of 50 years each, and are categorised into eight types, described below, following the quidelines of textual linguistics.

Dialectical texts:
this kind of text defends a thesis or a point of view pertaining to politics, philosophy or science. The author seeks to convince or persuade the reader: to this end, the text is rigorously organised and the sequence of paragraphs is clearly indicated by logical connectors. The present tense is often employed, as are the imperative and interrogative forms.

Letters:
the texts in this category are based upon an exchange of letters. Their linguistic structure respects the parameters imposed by this kind of text. The discourse is often of a narrative kind.

Didactic texts:
such texts aim to illustrate some phenomenon by way of precise data. The language used is objective, and privilege is accorded to the present tense. The text is clearly organised, with coordinated propositions.

Legal texts:
this kind of text is drawn from official documents. The language used features specialist vocabulary and standardised forms. The present tense dominates. Figures and proper nouns appear regularly.

Narrative texts:
such texts relate a story, which may be true or fictional. Narrative point of view may be third or first person (in the case of an autobiography, for example). They feature different types of discourse (direct, reported, indirect). The verbal tenses vary between the narrative present, the imperfect (employed in descriptive passages) and the past.

Poetry:
this kind of text is often recognisable by its use of verse, which gives it a characteristic appearance. The sytactic structure and the language can be disrupted by the constraints imposed by this kind of text. The register is often lyrical.

Proverbs:
the structure of this kind of text is fixed.

Theatre:
these texts have a direct relation to the spoken word, since they are constructed with a view to being performed. They feature direct speech, with interrogative and imperative forms. Exclamations are also frequent.