Text Linguistics Lexical Cohesion

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  • Topic: Semantics, Word, Lexical semantics
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7. Lexical Cohesion (TL)
Lexical cohesion (LC) embraces two distinct though related aspects which we refer to as reiteration and collocation. Reiteration is a form of lexical cohesion which involves the repetition of a lexical item, or the occurrence of a synonym of some kind, in the context of reference; i.e. where the two occurrences have the same referent. A reiterated item may be a repetition, a synonym or near-synonym, a superordinate or a general word; and in most cases it is accompanied by a reference item, typically “the”. Ex. 1. There was a large mushroom growing near her, … she stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom. (repetition of mushroom). 2. I took leave and turned to the ascent of the peak. The climb is perfectly easy… (climb refers back to ascent, of which it is a synonym.) 3. He clutched the sword and threw it. The great brand made lightnings…(here brand refers to sword, of which it is a near synonym). 4. Henry’s bought himself a new Jaguar. He practically lives in the car. (here car refers back to Jaguar; and it is a superordinate of Jaguar – that is, a name for a more general class.) All these instance have in common the fact that one lexical item refers back to another, to which it is related by having a common referent. This general phenomenon is regarded as reiteration. Collocation – ex. “Why does this little boy wriggle all the time? Girls don’t wriggle.” “girls” and “boys” are hardly synonyms, nor is there any possibility of their having the same referent; they are mutually exclusive categories. Yet their proximity in a discourse very definitely contributes to the texture. There is obviously a systematic relationship between a pair of words such as “boy” and “girl”; they are related by a particular type of oppositeness, called complementarity. We can therefore extend the basis of the lexical relationship that features as a cohesive force and say that there is cohesion between any pair of lexical items...
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