Text as a syntactic unit. Coherence, cohesion and deixis as the main features of the text.

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Text as a syntactic unit. Coherence, cohesion and deixis as the main features of the text.

The text is a sequence of sentences connected logically and semantically which convey a complete message; is a unit of language in use.

Text can be understood as an instance of (spoken or written) language use

(an act of parole), a relatively self-contained unit of communication. As a

‘communicative occurrence’ it meets seven criteria of textuality (the constitutive

principles of textual communication): cohesion, coherence, intentionality,

acceptability, informativity, situationality and intertextuality, and three regulative

principles of textual communication: efficiency, effectiveness and appropriateness).

Cohesion can be defined as the links that hold a text together and give it

meaning. The term cohesionwas introduced by Halliday and Hasan in 1976 to

denote the way in which linguistic items of which texts are constituted are

meaningfully interconnected in sequences. Each piece of text must be cohesive

with the adjacent ones for a successful communication.

There are two main types of cohesion: grammatical, referring to the

structural content, and lexical, referring to the language content of the piece and a

cohesive text is created through many different ways.

Coherence in linguistics is what makes a text semantically meaningful.

The notion of coherence was introduced by Vestergaard and Schroder as a way

of talking about the relations between texts, which may or may not be indicated

by formal markers of cohesion. Beaugrande/Dressler define coherence as a

“continuity of senses” and “the mutual access and relevance within a

configuration of concepts and relations” . Coherence, as a sub-surface feature of a

text, concerns the ways in which the meanings within a text (concepts, relations

among them and their relations to the external world) are established and

developed. Some of the major relations of coherence are logical sequences, such

as cause-consequence (and so), condition-consequence (if), instrumentachievement

(by), contrast (however), compatibility (and), etc. Moreover, it is the

general ´aboutness´, i.e., the topic development which provides a text with

necessary integrity; even in the absence of overt links, a text may be perceived as

coherent (i.e., as making sense), as in various lists, charts, timetables, menus.

Coherence is present when a text makes sense because there is a continuity

of senses which holds a text together – it has to be semantically and logically OK.

George entered the room. He saw Mary cleaning the table.

John fell and broke his neck. (?) John broke his neck and fell.

Deixismeans ‘identification by pointing’.


1) Deitic terms are used to refer to ourselves, to others, and to objects in our environment.

2) They are also need to locate actions in a time frame relative to the present.

3) Deitic terms can show social relationship – the social location of individuals in relation to others.

4) They may be used to locate parts of a text in relation to other parts.

Deitic expressions:

- Pronouns(that, this)

- Time and place adverbs(here, now)

- Verbs of motion(come, go)


41. Textual connective devices. Reiterations, collocation, endophoric relations.


Reiteration – the repetition of the same lexical item + the occurrence of a related item.

Collocation. In corpus linguistics, a collocation is a sequence of words or terms that co-occur more often than would be expected by chance. In phraseology, collocation is a sub-type of phraseme. An example of a phraseological collocation, as propounded by Michael Halliday, is the expression strong tea. While the same meaning could be conveyed by the roughly equivalent *powerful tea, this expression is considered incorrect by English speakers. Conversely, the corresponding expression for computer, powerful computers is preferred over *strong computers. Phraseological collocations should not be confused with idioms, where meaning is derived, whereas collocations are mostly compositional. There are about six main types of collocations: adjective+noun, noun+noun (such as collective nouns), verb+noun, adverb+adjective, verbs+prepositional phrase (phrasal verbs), and verb+adverb.


Endophoric relations.

REFERENCE realized by nouns, determiners, personal and demonstrative pronouns or adverbs



EXOPHORA (points out of the text to a real world item) Ex.: Can you see that?   ENDOPHORA (refers to an item within the text)    
ANAPHORA (referring to preceding text) Ex.: 1)direct anaphora: I met a man. He was wearing. 2) indirect anaphora: It is a solid house. The walls are thick CATAPHORA (referring to following text) Ex.: I would never have believed it. They’ve accepted the proposal.  


42.Pragmatic approach to the study of language units.

Describing the ways in which sentences are formed, many scholars make reference to meaning and how sentences express it. The analysis of meaning is treated as divisible into two major domains: semantics and pragmatics. Semantics deals with the sense conventionally I assigned to sentences independently of the contexts in which they might be uttered. Pragmatics deals with the way in which utterances are interpreted in context and the ways in which the utterance of a particular sentence in a certain context may convey a message that is not actually expressed in the sentence and in other contexts might not have been conveyed. PRAGMATICS is concerned not with the meaning of sentences as units of the language system but with the interpretation of utterances in context.

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