City Textuality Standards and the Methodology of City Text Analysis



The principle theoretical basis of this article is the concept of 'city text' and the textuality standards. The article explores city as a text and takes the textuality standards into consideration for analyzing the city. Text is one of the main elements that play a significant role in communication. People communicating by language do not do so simply by means of individual words or fragments of sentences, but by the means of text. A text is best regarded as a semantic unit; a unit not of form but of meaning. A text is a group of entities, used as signs, selected, arranged and intended by an author to convey a specific meaning to an audience in a certain context. Text linguistics is a new branch of linguistics that deals with texts as communication systems. The application of text linguistics has, however, evolved from this approach to a point in which text is viewed in much broader terms that go beyond a mere extension of traditional grammar towards an entire text. Text linguistics takes into account the form of a text, but also its setting, i.e. the way in which it is situated in an interactional, communicative context. Both the author of a written or spoken text as well as its addressee are important in their respective social and institutional roles in the specific communicative context. In general it is an application of discourse analysis at the much vaster level of text, rather than just a sentence or a word. It can be used as a tool for analyzing subjects in various disciplines like science, philosophy, sociology and etc. hence, planning and urban design can also use it as an analytical method. Beaugrande and Dressler in Introduction to Text Linguistics give thought to the notion of text. They try to determine what makes the text a unified meaningful whole. In this particular work they set up seven standards of textuality; the text cannot be considered as a text unless it meets these seven standards. They believe that these standards of textuality enable text analysis to be applicable to a wide variety of areas of practical concern. These standards are Cohesion, Coherence, Intertextuality, Intentionality, Acceptability, Informativity, and Situationality. 'Cohesion' is affected when surface structures are shared or borrowed among separate texts. 'Coherence' of a single text may be evident only in view of the overall discourse. 'Intentionality' is shown in the goal-directed use of conversation; and 'Acceptability' in the immediate feedback. The role of 'Situationality' is particularly direct, and the whole organization illustrates 'Intertextuality' in operation. The selection of contributions to conversation can be controlled by the demands of 'Informativity'. The achievement of this research is to develop a structural and substantial analysis method borrowing the concept of text and textuality from linguistics, and to elaborate a tool for the form-content analysis in an urban design scope. This methodology is applied in a case study sample and the textuality standards are tested in 'Sang-e-Si?h', a historic quarter in the olden city of Shiraz.