Publication details [#14702]

Sanders, Ted J.M. and Leo G.M. Noordman. 2000. The Role of Coherence Relations and Their Linguistic Markers in Text Processing. Discourse Processes 29 (1) : 37–60.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Lawrence Erlbaum


When readers process a text, they establish a coherent representation by means of coherence relations. This article focuses on the cognitive status of these relations. In an experiment using reading, verification, and free recall tasks, 2 crucial aspects of the structure of expository texts were investigated: the type of coherence relation between segments (problem-solution vs. list) and the linguistic marking of the relations by means of signaling phrases (implicit vs. explicit). Both factors affected text processing. Problem solution relations lead to faster processing, better verification, and superior recall. Explicit marking of the relations resulted in faster processing but did not affect recall. We conclude that the processing of a text segment depends on the relation it has with preceding segments. The relational marker has an effect during online processing, but its influence decreases over time. This contrasts with the effect of the coherence relation, which is also manifest in the recall.