The text as a coherent verbal message. Cohesion and coherence.
A text is a basic speech unit, manifesting itself in verbal utterances The main characteristic features of a text are functional: it serves for transmitting and storing information between members of human society. The message manifested linguistically, can be stored, and possesses the structural feature of cohesion.
Coherence and cohesion have been 2 very prominent terms in Discourse Analysis and Text Linguistics, but they are difficult to distinguish. They are related etymologically, and share the same verb (cohere).
Coherence (логичность) is logical consistency – unity and structural composition. It may depend on various factors of syntagmatic arrangement, such as repeated occurrence of equivalent elements either distant or juxtaposed. It may depend on a special choice and arrangement of semantically related words and the resulting repetition of some scenes, particular those referring to the important themes of the message.
Cohesion (единство, связность) refers to the means (phonological, grammatical, lexical, semantic) of linking sentences into larger units (paragraphs, chapters) of making them «stick together». Thanks to this property of cohesion, a text is a structure blended into one piece by the integration of its parts which cannot be what they are if taken separately. A text is an integrated structure.
Cohesive ties can be overt or explicit, or covert or implicit.
There are some linguistic means serving to ensure cohesion:
pronominal linkage with a preceding noun,
conjunctions and conjunctive adjectives,
deictic words (substitutes),
sequence of events reflected in verb forms and adverbials of time (submodifiers),
the already mentioned semantic repetition of variously related words – synonyms, hyponyms, antonyms, partitives, words from the same lexical set and so on.
Explicit lexical repetition
Recurrent uses of the same content word or of related words convey a sense of the integratedness of a text. Since such linkage is all predicated on the relations between word uses and meanings this is called lexical cohesion.
The major kinds of lexical cohesion are the following:
Simple repetition of a given word: chair – chair
Use of a synonym or near-synonym: chair-seat
Use of a subordinate, super ordinate or general term to denote a particular entity on a latter occasion (a rabbit – an Angora)
Collocation: tendency of rabbit to co-occur with hole, hutch, and bunny.
By coherence we mean logical consistency, - unity and structural composition. It may depend on various factors of syntagmatic arrangement, such as repeated occurrence of. equivaient elements either distant or juxtaposed. It may depend on a special choice and arrangement of semantically related -words, and the resulting repetition of some scenes,particularly those referring to the important themes of the message.
The language substance in a text is organised on all levels; phonetically, lexically, graphically, etc. This creates alongside the linear connections other meaningful ties, helping the reader to overcome the linearlity of speech and grasp the relative importance of various elements, their hierarchy in the message. Thanks to this property of cohesion, a text is a structure blended into one piece by the integration of its parts which cannot be what they are if taken separately.
Decoding Stylistics and Text Theory study Ihe ways in which sentences and linguistic units larger than sentences build themselves up into integrated units.With these concepts in mind we can now observe some linguistic means serving to ensure cohesion. These are: pronominal linkage with a preceding noun, conjunctions and conjunctive adjectives, deictic words (substitutes), sequence of events reflected in verb forms and adverbials of time (submodifiers), the already mentioned semantic repetition of variously related words - synonyms, hyponyms, antonyms, partitives, words from the same lexical set, the definite article, the same tense forms.As a special and spectacular example of cohesion we can take the phenomenon of foregrounding called coupling. The phenomenon was described and the term suggested by Samuel Levin. Coupling is a semanticaliy relevant appearance of equivalent elements in equivalent positions. We shall describe and discuss coupling at length somewhat later, dealing with foregrounding. Parallel constructions and antithesis come under this more general class. They may be illustrated by many proverbs, e.g.: Where, ignorance is bliss, t'is folly to be wise.