The Merits and Demerits of Hoey's Matching Patterns

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THE MERITS AND DEMERITS OF HOEY'S MATCHING PATTERNS

By

Prof.Dr Lubna Riyadh Abdul Jabbar

Abstract
Within the realm of the linguistic description of text, Hoey has adopted the approach that sees text as possessing organization, that is, describable in terms of patterns of organization. Accordingly, organizational statements of text describe what is done by accounting for probabilities. In such an approach, no linguistic combination is impossible, but some are decidedly improbable. Hoey claims that the structural description of text cannot attain perfection in any area of language study, and that the formation of structural principles forces the linguist to consider the exceptions, and thus to discover new regularities through the process of matching patterns . The present study shed some light on the merit and demerits of such an approach and the possibility of applying it in the analysis of texts.

THE MERITS AND DEMERITS OF HOEY'S MATCHING PATTERNS

The Matching Patterns
In his work Patterns of Lexis in Text, Hoey (1991) introduces a detailed model of how the cohesive features combine to affect the organization of text. He believes (ibid.: 11) that any description of cohesion gives rise to an important trio of questions:

1.How does the presence of cohesion contribute to the coherence of a text? 2.How does the presence of cohesion affect the ways in which sentences are perceived to be related to each other as complete propositions? 3.Does cohesion contribute to creating the large organization of a text?

The first question presupposes that coherence is not synonymous with cohesion. Hoey states that coherence could only be determined by the addressee’s evaluation and assessment, whereas cohesion is a property of text. In other words, cohesion is an objective feature inherent in the text, while coherence is a relative and subjective feature which is dependent on the addressee’s interpretation of the text; and as such is subject to the external factor of the addressee’s response. Consequently, there could be only one type of cohesion in a text, but potentially many varying kinds of coherence (ibid.: 12).

; but sometimes, for texts in which there is a great number of repetitions, the threshold may be four links or more. It is claimed that bonded pairs of sentences are semantically related and, often, intelligible together.

(ibid.: 265)

To answer the third question previously raised, Hoey suggests two ways for the interpretation of the term text:

Firstly, it refers to a piece of continuous language from a single source that is available for linguistic analysis. It may be spoken or written and have one originator, or several… Secondly, it refers to the linguistic level between grammar and interaction. In this sense, the text level converts and combines grammatical strings into usable (part of) interaction.

(ibid.: 269)

With respect to the first interpretation of the term text, Hoey explains that two major approaches avail in the theories of the linguistic description of text. The first approach views text to be structured; that is, capable of being described in predictive terms. Consequently, structural statements of text indicate what is possible and what is impossible (ibid.: 193). The second approach sees text as possessing organization, that is, describable in terms of patterns of organization. Accordingly, organizational statements of text describe what is done by accounting for probabilities (ibid.: 194). In such an approach, no linguistic combination is impossible, but some are decidedly improbable. Hoey adopts the second approach, claiming that the structural description of text cannot attain perfection in any area of language study, and that the formation of structural principles forces the linguist to consider the exceptions, and thus to discover new regularities (ibid.).

In addition to...
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