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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-10779

Weiss, D (2009). Textkohärenz. In: Berger, T; Gutschmidt, K; Kempgen, S; Kosta, P. Die slavischen Sprachen / The Slavic Languages. Ein internationales Handbuch zu ihrer Struktur, ihrer Geschichte und ihrer Erforschung. An International Handbook of their History, their Structure and their Investigation. Berlin / New York: Walter de Gruyter, 942-962.

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After a brief explanation of the term ‘text coherence’, which is considered more fundamental than ‘text’ itself and comprises both written and oral monological texts, its application (in Gricean terms) to dialogical discourse is discussed. Then follows an overview of the most fundamental devices serving as textual ties, such as: anaphoric and cataphoric reference, sentence connexion, mixed cases, ‘information packaging’ (also known as Functional sentence perspective, Actual division, etc.), isotopical links, etc. Particular attention is given to the different impact of various kinds of empty signs on text interpretation: ellipsis signals maximal coherence (recurring material is simply omitted), whereas certain zero signs, e.g. the so-called indefinite-personal verb forms in Russian, on the contrary indicate the appearance of a new, ephemeral referent. Asyndetic linking is especially tricky in that it covers cases of both very tight and very loose links and may be semantically unequivocal, vague, ambiguous or empty. All this boils down to the statement that text coherence is a graded phenomenon and dialectically related to text delimitation. If we add hierarchical organization to this, we obtain an even more differentiated picture of the intricate interplay of manifest and hidden linguistic means and devices. Moreover, the widespread distinction between coherence and cohesion turns out to be far from being clear-cut: it rather marks two opposite poles of a whole scale of varying degrees of explicitness/implicitness. In the following section, I examine the interrel¬ation between coherence and coding, the working hypothesis being that the weaker the former is, the more elaborated the coding has to be. The last section is devoted to the analysis of various coherence disturbances in spontaneous discourse caused by the speaker’s inappropriate assessment of the hearer’s knowledge or (more elementarily) his inability to correctly designate the referent he intends to establish.




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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Slavonic Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
410 Linguistics
Deposited On:01 Apr 2009 16:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:51
Publisher:Walter de Gruyter
Series Name:Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft / Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science
ISBN:978-3-11-015660-7 (Print) 978-3-11-021447-5 (Online)
Publisher DOI:10.1515/9783110214475.1.12.942
Related URLs:http://opac.nebis.ch/F/?local_base=NEBIS&con_lng=GER&func=find-b&find_code=SYS&request=005876876

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