Some Essential Concepts in the Analysis of Cohesion

Some Essential Concepts in the Analysis of Cohesion

Some Essential Concepts in the Analysis of Cohesion A Note on Texture In Halliday’s grammar, the analysis of cohesion is closely related to the analysis of theme-rheme and given-new, as all these features are connected to thetextual metafunction of language. Theme-rheme and given-new combine in the grammar of English to form what Halliday calls the structural component ofTEXTURE, which is defined as the property of ‘being a text”.

The other component of TEXTURE is the cohesive, which is the non-structural component. The concept of TEXTURE should hus consist of the following features: (A) the structural component of texture 1 thematic structure: Theme & Rheme (Chapter 3) 2 information structure and focus (Chapter 8) (B) the cohesive (non-structural) component of texture 1 reference 2 ellipsis and substitution 3 conjunction 4 lexical cohesion A Prior Note on Coherence Cohesion must be distinguished from COHERENCE.

A cohesive text may not necessarily be coherent to the reader, and a text which is coherent to someone may be lacking in certain crucial cohesive elements. A text is cohesive according to the anguage it is written or spoken in, and it is coherent to the individual reader or hearer. Cohesion is thus dependent on the resources of a particular language, whereas relevant psychological and other variable extra-linguistic factors are needed for the realization of coherence.

A physics text-book for example, may be written using all the necessary cohesive devices of the language, but it may not be coherent to someone who does not have the necessary background knowledge (which is needed for the realization of coherence) even if he has a very good command of the language. One problem that you may face when doing stylistic analysis, is the fact that your available linguistic concepts do not adequately deal with connections between sentences.

The various rela tionships between the primary and secondary clauses discussed in the lectures on clause com plexing may be applicable to the analysis of more than one clause, but only if they exist within the boundaries of a single sentence. The analysis of theme-rheme in a passage, when combined with the concepts of given and new, can help you to examine the relationships between sen tences, but your analysis in this direction may not be as ulti-sided as you may have wished.

In order to provide you with the tools for a more complete analysis, you have to turn to Halli day’s analysis of cohe sion. Halliday’s Approach to Cohesion Cohesion in English, in Halliday’s view, is achieved by any of the four ways below: 1) REFERENCE 3) CONJUNCTION 4) LEXICAL COHESION Referential Cohesion Halliday defines REFERENCE as a participant or circumstantial element introduced at one place in the text, which is either taken as a reference point for something that follows, or as a basis for comparison.

There are three ways by which referential ohesion can be realised: 1) Through Personal Pronouns Personal pronouns may be DETERMINATIVE: Number Gender singular: he, him, she, her feminine she, her plural they, them masculine he, him neuter it, they, them or POSSESSIVE: singular: his, her, hers, its feminine: her, hers plural: their, theirs masculine: his neuter: its, their, theirs 2) Through Demonstratives Demonstratives can be SPECIFIC or NON-SPECIFIC: SPECIFIC NON-SPECIFIC near: this/these this/these here (now) no clear indication of nearness or remoteness it, the remote: that/those that/those there (then) 3) Through Comparatives General

Identity Similarity Difference same as, equal to, identical to, identically, Just as, as, etc. similar to, similarly, additional to, additionally, such as, likewise, etc. other than, different from/than/to, otherwise, else, differently, etc.

Particular more than, bigger than, better than, greater, more so, fewer than, fewer, less than, further than, so, so as, as much as Analysis of Referential Cohesion & Some Important Terms In referential cohesion, one is not only interested on whether these items exist in the text, but also on whether they refer forward or backward to items within the text r outside the text, or whether it is self-referential or its reference is understood, given the contexts. a) Anaphora or Cataphora ‘Backwards’ or ‘Forwards’ A personal pronoun, demonstrative or comparative that refers to an item whose more detailed or precise description Is given earlier in the text: ANAPHORA Is given later in the text: CATAPHORA (b) Endophora or Exophora ‘Inside’ or ‘Outside’ If a personal pronoun, demonstrative or comparative refers to an item whose more detailed or precise description Is given within the text: ENDOPHORA Is given outside the text: EXOPHORA (c) Homophora

You may encounter some problems however, in relation to a reference item which does not clearly or strictly speaking, refer to earlier or later items within the text nor to entities outside the text. Given the text, such an item appears to be understood or self-referential, given one’s cultural knowledge or knowledge of the world. It is known as a homophora. Conjunctive Cohesion From a non-technical perspective, the term cohesion is occasionally understood in terms of the conjunctive linkages that a writer makes between the clauses of the text.

We thus come to the third way, according to Halliday, through which cohesive djuncts, which consist of certain adverbial groups or prepositional phrases. The use of conjunctions to link clauses, or its lack, has a parallel in classical rhetoric with the concepts of polysyndeton and asyndeton. In polysyndeton, relatively many conjunctions are used to link clauses, but in asyndeton, conjunctions are avoided. Thus a link can be made between Halliday’s approach to conjunctive cohesion and classical rhetoric, in the sense that polysyndetondepends quite a lot on conjunctive cohesion, but asyndeton avoids it.

Like the tactic linkages between clauses within the entence in our study of clause complexing, the cohesive conjunctive linkages between clauses (which may extend beyond the sentence) can also be seen in terms of elaboration, extension, and enhancement. The conjunctive adjuncts which give rise to elaborationand extension are given in the first table below, whilst those which give rise to enhancement are given in the next table (adapted from section 9. 4 of the earlier editions of Halliday’s Introduction; see also the slightly different tabulation in the third edition [section 9. ; pp. 542??”3]). Like the table of modal adjuncts given n lecture notes no. 8, the lists of conjunctive adjuncts are not complete, nor are students expected to have a photographic knowledge of them in order to do stylistic analysis. It must also be noted that some of these adjuncts can also function as modal or circumstantial adjuncts, depending on the context in which they appear; some of the lexical items given below, like ‘actually, ‘still’, and yet’, in fact appear in both the lists of modal and conjunctive adjuncts.

In order to distinguish conjunctive adjuncts from the other types of adjuncts, you should keep the textual etafunction of conjunctive adjuncts uppermost in your minds: i. e. , is the primary purpose the linkage between one part of the text and another? DOMAIN TYPE MEANING EXAMPLES ELABORATION: Apposition expository that is (to say), in other words, I mean (to say), put it another way; exemplifying ‘e. g. for instance, for example, thus, to illustrate; Clarification corrective ‘rather’ or rather, at least, to be (more) precise; ‘by the way by the way, incidentally; dismissive ‘in any case’ in any case, anyway, leaving that aside; particularizing ‘in particular’ in particular, more especially; esumptive to resume’ as I was saying, to resume, to get back to the point; summative ‘in short’ briefly, to sum up, in conclusion; verifactive ‘actually actually, in fact, as a matter of fact; EXTENSION: Addition positive ‘and’ and, also, moreover, in addition, besides; negative ‘nor’ nor; Adversative adversative ‘but’ but, on the other hand, yet, however, conversely; Variation replacive ‘instead’ instead, on the contrary ‘except’ apart from that, except for that; alternative ‘alternatively alternatively; DOMAIN ENHANCEMENT Spatio-temporal simple 1) following then, next, afterwards, first… hen; 2) simultaneous just then, at the same time 3) preceding before that, hitherto, previously 4) conclusively in the end, finally; complex at once, thereupon, straightaway 2) interrupted soon, after a while; 3) repetitive next time, on another occasion 4) specific next day, an hour later, next morning; 5) durative meanwhile, all that time; 6) terminal’ until then, up to that point 7) punctiliar at this moment; simple internal next, secondly, ‘my next point is’, first… ext; at this point, here, now; hitherto, up to now; 4) conclusive lastly, last of all, finally Comparative ikewise, similarly, in the same way; in a different way; expression of means ‘in the same manner’ in the same manner; Causal-conditional causal: general therefore’ so, then, therefore, consequently, hence, because of that, for; causal: specific 1) result in consequence, as a result; 2) reason on account of this, for that/this reason; 3) purpose for that purpose, with this in mind/view conditional 1) positive then, in that case, in that event, under the circumstances; 2) negative otherwise, if not; yet, still, though, despite this/that, even so, all the same, nevertheless, however; Respective ‘here’ ere, there, as to that, in this/that respect; as far as that’s concerned; ‘elsewhere’ in other respects, elsewhere; Lexical Cohesion To Halliday, ‘lexical cohesion comes about through the selection of [lexical] items that are related in some way to those that have gone before’ (p. 310, 330).

More specifically, lexical cohesion can be achieved through one of these means below. Do note that in the third edition of Introduction to Functional Grammar, Halliday and Mattthiessen divide up cohesion into paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations, with collocation being the only syntagmatic category, and synonymy treated eparately from hyponymy and meronymy, and not together under the more general category of synonymy (pp. 570??”8). The choice is yours: you can either continue to treat hyponymy and meronymy as being generally connected to synonymy, or follow the newer configuration in the third edition of the book. 1. Repetition 2. Synonymy 3. Collocation.

Repetition REPETITION, which involves the reiteration of a lexical item, is the simplest form of lexical cohesion. Hallidays example here is quite memorable: Algy met a bear. The bear was bulgy The lexical item which contributes to cohesion here is of course the word ‘bear’ (not Algy and bulgy! ). Synonymy The next form of lexical cohesion involves the use of lexical items which are in some sense synonymous. The examples of SYNONYMY given by Halliday are the related words ‘sound’/’noise’ and ‘cavalry’/’horses’ in the shortened extract below: … he was startled by a noise from behind him. It was the noise of trotting horses …. The sound of the cavalry grew rapidly nearer…

Reference There may either be identity of reference or no identity of reference in Hallidays conception of synonymy as a contributing factor to lexical cohesion. Identity of In synonymy which involves identity of reference, we refer either to synonyms in the usual sense of the word, or to lexical items which are related in meaning to their referents by virtue of being at a higher level of generality. The usual sense of the word synonym should be clear to most of you. The word ‘bachelor’ and the phrase ‘single male’, for example, are synonymous; so are the words leisurely and relaxed in ‘He walked in a leisurely way and ‘He walked in a relaxed way.

Halliday also regards as synonymous meanings which are at a higher level of generality. A concept which is f a higher level of generality is also known as asuperordinate concept, whereas that which is at a lower level is known as a subordinate concept. We can see how these super- and sub-ordinate conceptsare related in Hallidays example of ‘blackbirds ??”+ birds ??”+ creatures ??”+ they, which can be represented in the diagram below, As we can see, theyl is superordinate to ‘creatures’, which is in turn superordinate to ‘birds’, and which is finally superordinate to ‘blackbirds’. Any of thesesuperordinate concepts may be used to refer to ‘blackbirds’; each of them will be regarded as synonymous to ‘blackbirds’.

In the analysis of lexical items which have identity of reference, the concept of synonymy, according to Halliday, can also apply to words which do not belong to the same word class, as in ‘cheered’ and ‘applause’ in ‘Everyone cheered. The leader acknowledged the applause’; and ‘cried’ and ‘tears’ in ‘l wish I hadn’t cried so much! I shall be punished for it… by being drowned in my own tears! ‘2 No Identity of Reference In synonymy with no identity of reference, we refer either to hyponymy, where a cohesive relationship is established between a general (superordinate) concept and usually more than one) specific (or subordinate) concepts;3 or to meronymy, where a cohesive relationship is established between a concept and its parts. We are dealing with a hyponymous relationship when a cohesive linkage is established between trees’ and oak, pine, elm etc. s in fgure a) below; and with meronymy where there is a cohesive relationship established between trunk, branch, leaf etc and tree’ as in figure b) below: Hyponymy and meronymy are often regarded as figures of speech or tropes, where they are collectively classified under synecdoche, or more generally, nder metonymy. Antonymy In the analysis of synonymy, we finally have antonymy, where a cohesive semantic linkage is established between lexical items of opposite meanings. Collocation The final form of lexical cohesion is COLLOCATION. Halliday defines collocation as the tendency of certain lexical items to co-occur. Hallidays illustration ofcollocation through the example of the limerick ‘A little fat man of Bombay is both typical and memorable: A little fat man of Bombay Was smoking one very hot day. But a bird called a snipe Flew away with his pipe, Which vexed the fat man of Bombay.