Cohesion and coherence

Wolfram Bublitz
Table of contents

Linguists use the two notions of cohesion and coherence to refer to the (linguistically encoded or just assumed) connectedness of spoken as well as written discourse or text. Of course, connecting relations also hold among elements of structure within grammatical units such as word, phrase, clause or sentence. But these intra-sentential relations are different in kind because they are determined by phonological and grammatical rules and described, inter alia, as syntactic-semantic relations of valency, dependency, constituency, modification. Cohesion, operating inter-sententially, and coherence are key notions in text and discourse analysis, as well as in pragmatics because they also relate to the complex interrelationship between form, meaning and use of linguistic expressions in specific (social) contexts.

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