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C is for Coherence



Is she coherent? 


Review the following definitions and choose the best one: 

A quality of sentences, paragraphs, and essays when all parts are clearly connected. Adjective: coherent.


Coherence (linguistics)

Coherence in linguistics is what makes a text semantically meaningful.It is especially dealt with in text linguistics. Coherence is achieved through syntactical features such as the use of deicticanaphoricand cataphoric elements or a logical tense structure, as well as presuppositions and implicationsconnected to general world knowledge. The purely linguistic elements that make a text coherent are subsumed under the term cohesion.

Robert De Beaugrande and Wolfgang U. Dressler define coherence as a “continuity of senses” and “the mutual access and relevance within a configuration of concepts and relations” . Thereby a textual world is created that does not have to comply to the real world. But within this textual world the arguments also have to be connected logically so that the reader/hearer can produce coherence.

from Wikipedia reproduced here 

Anglsofrom.com   the order of statements relates one another by sense.

(cohere / coherent / coherence)

Many patterns of words exhibit a quality known as cohesion. This means that they form coherent units. Phrases are an important coherent grammatical unit. Words that cohere are cohesive: they appear to act not as individual words but as a single unit, e.g. ‘inside out’, ‘at three o’clock’, ‘the awful creature’, ‘has been eating’, ‘in a traditional manner’. These examples ofcoherent groups are all phrases, but clausessentences and discourses are also, if they are to be effective in communicating ideas and facts, coherent.

At the level of discourse, the reader or listener also needs to be able to link the different sentences and paragraphs (or stanzas in a poem, etc) in a logical way. This is achieved by many linguistic means including graphologysemanticspragmatics,narrative structure, tone, lists, pronouns, proper nouns, repetition of either logical or similar ideas, use of synonyms, and so on. The analysis of the cohesive qualities (i.e. the coherence) of a text is the analysis of discourse structure.

   – from the Glossary of Linguistic terms by Steve Campsall



Please, read this text and say if it is a coherent text. Try to answer the following questions:

  1. Where was published?
  2. Who authored it?
  3. What was his purpose for writing it?

These children can be said to have two three or more mother tongues neither language is foreign to that child even if one language is a foreign language for the vast majority of people in the childs birth country. On average in Europe at the start of foreign language teaching learners have lessons for three to four hours a week. The Welsh language is also compulsory up to the age of 16 although a formal qualification is optional..In some countries learners have lessons taken entirely in a foreign language for example more than half of European countries with a minority regional language community use partial immersion to teach both the minority and the state language..In 1995 the s White Paper on Education and Training emphasized the importance of schoolchildren learning at least two foreign languages before upper secondary education.


Now, scroll down to see the answer. 




















The text above was taken from a spam message on my blog – in response to a post about large school chains – franchises in Greece and elsewhere. It is not coherent because: 

  1. It is an irrelevant response to the topic of the blog post. Grice’s maxix of Relevance is flouted. 
  2. There is no internal coherence to the paragraph itself although the human mind makes a great effort to identify features of coherence, simply because this text appears in the form of a paragrah. So we try to ascribe some meaning. 
  3. It not cohensive – it looks like a random collection of sentences probably copied from various education sites and blogs that have to do with foreign language teaching – a stray and random collection. 




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