Coherence refers to the organization of meanings in relation to one other. Although various meaningful sequences are possible, there must be a logical relation between sentences for a text to be coherent and achieve its communicative purposes. This logical relation is what gives a text continuity of sense.
While cohesive ties are likely to differ from language to language, coherence sets up relationship that are conceptual and are seen to be universal. Examples of these ties are cause and effect, time sequences, argumentative discussion.
As reported by Renkema, two basic types of logico-semantic relations can be distinguished: the additive relation and the causal relation.
The additive relation can be traced back on a conjunction and it is related to various types of coordination, represented by words such as AND (addition), BUT (contrast), OR (disjunction).
The causal relation can be traced back to an implication.
The most important causal relations are those corresponding to the seven types distinguished in traditional grammar:
CAUSE: expresses a consequence outside the domain of volition
John didn't go to school. He was sick.
REASON: a volitional aspect is present
John didn't come with us. He hates parties
MEANS: a deliberate usage of a cause in order to achieve a volitional consequence
Would you mind opening the door? Here is the key
John is sick. He is not going to school.
PURPOSE: expresses a volitional consequence
The instruction should be printed in capital letters. So everybody pays attention
CONDITION: expresses a necessary or possible cause or reason for a possible consequence
You can get a job this summer. But first you have to pass the exam.
CONCESSION: expresses a cause or reason for which the expected consequence fails to occur.
He was rich. Yet he never gave anything to charity.
Cohesion and coherence occur at two different levels: cohesion is at the surface level while coherence involves the deep logico-semantic relations between sentences.
As Ulrych explains, the requirement for cohesion is that 'a text should be interrelated grammatically and lexically', while the requirement for coherence is that 'a text should hang together conceptually'.
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Per approfondire questo argomento, consulta le Tesi:
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- L’uso della metafora visiva e della lingua inglese in pubblicità: uno studio eye-tracking
- L'inglese e gli adolescenti: un'esperienza raccontata attraverso il diario di bordo
- John Ronald Reuel Tolkien fra critica e traduzione: Il caso della "History of Middle-Earth"
- Alla ricerca del titolo perduto: l'adattamento del titolo cinematografico in italiano
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