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Index
Glossary





















































Table of Contents
Index
Glossary
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Next: Content relations Up: Representing scientific discourse relations Previous: Representing scientific discourse relations

   
Relations based on the communicative function

In the modular version of A08, we have not expressed many relations based on the communicative function (see table 5.4). Often, the target of a link implicitly provides, at the same time, a clarification, an explanation and a justification of the source. We have considered that to be the default. The reason is that in the text the communicative function of different parts is often not straightforward either. The usual writing style in science is to formulate the presentation as a report: the authors inform the reader of their research, its reliability and its relevance. The reports on the reliability and relevance can also be reconstructed as argumentation aimed at justifying standpoints with respect to that reliability and relevance. We assume that the author intended both to inform and to convince the readers. Therefore the target of a link can have different communicative functions with respect to the source, depending on the question whether the reader does not understand the source or is not convinced of its reliability or relevance. And therefore the link can express different relations based on the communicative function. We have only expressed a relation based on the communicative function when that function was explicit enough. For example, in A08-m3cii we created a link that explicitly expresses the fact that the cited article both elucidates the uniform approximation, and justifies its applicability.

In any case, we have only expressed relations based on the communicative function in links leading from a source that was something that had to be elucidated or argued, to a target providing the elucidation or argumentation. We have not made explicit a single instance of the opposite, a relation in which the target was something that had to be elucidated or argued.

 We have made explicit some clarification relations, mostly in the Experimental methods and the Findings, in cases where the target relatum predominantly addresses the question `what' rather than `why'. For example, the module Experimental methods A08-m3a refers to the mesoscopic modules that are part of MESO-m3a for a detailed and focused account of the components of the set-up. The communicative function of that account with respect to the text in A08-m3a is that of a clarification of what these components look like and how they work, rather than an explanation of why they do so, or a justification of their reliability.

  We have identified only sporadically the more specific relations of definition and specification. In A08-m3cii, the term deflection function is linked to its definition in a mesoscopic module. In the examples, not many explicit definitions are given. In the implementation of modular publications, the reader could be enabled to look up definitions in a `scientific dictionary' by means of implicit links, which are called intensional in [De Rose, 1989]. However, the modular model is restricted to explicit links, and such a dictionary is not available in the example.

 In the Theoretical methods, we have used the more general elucidation relations, which imply both clarification and explanation. By making explicit an elucidation relation, we emphasise the fact that the target is aimed at informing the reader of what is meant and why the described state of affairs has arisen, rather than at justifying it.

 In a few cases, we have made explicit an argumentation relation. For example, in the Findings A08-m6a it is concluded that ``the Landau-Zener theory can be applied by the simple use of the transition probability''. We have added a link which expresses a clarification to a mesoscopic module about the theory. We have also added a link expressing argumentation to the Interpretation A08-m5bii1, where the applicability of the theory is justified. Argumentation relations form only one percent of all relations in A08.

The articles we have modularised are not very polemic. Therefore, a particular reader does not require the explicit possibility to search for advocates or adversaries of a particular standpoint. Hence we do not distinguish between supportive argumentation and counterargumentation.  



Next: Content relations Up: Representing scientific discourse relations Previous: Representing scientific discourse relations