The Texture of Discourse

Towards an outline of connectivity theory

Jan Renkema | University of Tilburg
ISBN 9789027232663 | EUR 90.00 | USD 135.00
ISBN 9789027289087 | EUR 90.00 | USD 135.00
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The aim of this monograph is to give impetus to research into one of the central questions in discourse studies: what makes a sequence of sentences or utterances a discourse?

The theoretical framework for describing the possibilities of discourse continuation is delineated by two principles: the discursive and the dialogic principle. The ‘chord’ of discourse is unfolded in a tripartite ‘wire’: Conjunction, Adjunction and Interjunction, each containing three aspects, leading to a Connectivity Model. This new three-by-three taxonomy of discourse relations incorporates findings from several theories and approaches that have evolved over the last three decades, including Systemic Functional Linguistics and Rhetorical Structure Theory. In comparing this model to other models, this book presents a state-of-the-art of discourse relation analysis combined with detailed accounts of many examples. This monograph furthermore proposes a new way of presenting discourse structures—in ‘connectivity graphs’—followed by eleven commandments for the segmentation and labeling of discourse, and three procedures for disambiguation if more labels are applicable. This study can provide a base for corpus linguistic analysis on discourse structures, computational approaches to discourse generation and cognitive experimental research of discourse competence.

[Not in series, 151] 2009.  xi, 213 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Jan Renkema, prominent Dutch discourse analyst since the 1970s, reformulates the basic question of all formal discourse studies, namely what makes text and talk "hang together" and not merely an arbitrary sequence of words, sentences, propositions or turns. He very usefully does so in a more general framework of "connectivity" analysis, integrating both formal cohesion and semantic coherence, and thus significantly contributes to the linguistic foundations of the field.”
“With this book Renkema provides a probing account of inter-clausal relations, replete with practical insights and theoretical innovations. A 'must-read' for discourse analysts, based on a lifetime of research into the texture of connectivity.”
The Texture of Discourse presents an important achievement and a remarkable contribution to the field, not only for the originality of its theoretical and methodological ideas, but also for its admirable brevity and clarity of presentation, for its informativeness and usability, and for the constructive, positive attitude that pervades it. For these reasons it will remain an important reference in the field for the years to come.”
“The main content of the book, the development of a theory of how the individual messages making up a text can be combined to form larger coherent structures, is central to current debate in the areas of text linguistics and discourse analysis. Prof. Renkema’s detailed articulation of a new taxonomy of discourse relations adds important new insights that will further both theoretical discussion and the tools available for concrete discourse analysis.”
“Renkema's essay offers a readable and gentle introduction to the phenomena of connectivity in discourse, with a clear focus on coherence relations and their role in creating textuality. The author discusses a variety of related approaches, but his central point of departure is Rhetorical Structure Theory (Mann/Thompson 1988), arguably the most successful empirically-oriented theory of discourse structure today (still). Renkema criticizes RST on several grounds and proposes an alternative approach, which is in several respects less restrictive than RST, and in several respects more precise than the predecessor. [...] I much enjoyed reading this book. It is very accessible and works both as a solid introductory text for students and as a compact proposal of a new framework for the interested scholar. Particularly useful are the many thoughtful discussions of linguistic examples, which are played out in various versions to illustrate certain effects.”
“This book is an intelligently conceived, clearly outlined and well illustrated new proposal for how to talk about discourse and discourse connections. It will not only become a classic in discourse research, but will also spur research by many other people.”
“The Texture of Discourse can be used as solid introductory text for students and as a compact proposal of a new framework for interested scholars. It is valuable not only for its important new insights that will further theoretical discussion and the tools available for concrete discourse analysis, but also for its clarity of presentation and admirable brevity.”
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2019. La escritura del resumen en biología: Una revisión bibliográfica. Cuadernos de Lingüística Hispánica  pp. 57 ff. DOI logo
Dargnat, Mathilde, F. Neveu, B. Harmegnies, L. Hriba, S. Prévost & A. Steuckardt
2020. Subjectivité et projection : le cas des particules discursives. SHS Web of Conferences 78  pp. 12007 ff. DOI logo
Das, Debopam & Maite Taboada
2018. RST Signalling Corpus: a corpus of signals of coherence relations. Language Resources and Evaluation 52:1  pp. 149 ff. DOI logo
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2014. Signaling causal coherence relations. Discourse Studies 16:1  pp. 25 ff. DOI logo
Hoek, Jet, Sandrine Zufferey, Jacqueline Evers-Vermeul & Ted J. M. Sanders
2018. The linguistic marking of coherence relations. Pragmatics & Cognition 25:2  pp. 276 ff. DOI logo
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2019. Coherence Relations in Primary School Textbooks: Variation across School Subjects. Discourse Processes 56:8  pp. 764 ff. DOI logo
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2017. ElResumende artículos de investigación científica. Spanish in Context 14:2  pp. 273 ff. DOI logo
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2017. Narrative Representation Theory: Identifying the human language with superstructure. Discourse Studies 19:6  pp. 648 ff. DOI logo
Moncada, Fernando
2018. Interacción entre conectores y conocimiento previo en el procesamiento de la coherencia causal. Círculo de Lingüística Aplicada a la Comunicación 76  pp. 179 ff. DOI logo
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2013. Team design communication patterns in e-learning design and development. Educational Technology Research and Development 61:4  pp. 581 ff. DOI logo
Redeker, Gisela & Helmut Gruber
2014. Introduction. In The Pragmatics of Discourse Coherence [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 254],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 11 may 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Communication Studies

Communication Studies

Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2009019152 | Marc record