Compare the following two Dutch texts. The content of the texts is identical, but they appear to be quite diferent. The first one comes across as a more readable and interesting text than the second.
Monique Witteman from Utrecht loves cats. She has a special hobby: she enters her feline ‘Barend’ for every cat show in her town. This year is the fourth time that she is showing her tom. Barend’s mistress isn’t the only one who thinks he’s wonderful: the jury has awarded the longhaired Angora cat the fist price three times now. Both the owner and tom cat appear to enjoy participating, because (…)Monique Witteman uit Utrecht houdt van katten. Monique Witteman heeft een bijzondere hobby: Monique Witteman schrijft kat Barend in voor elke poezententoonstelling in Utrecht. Dit jaar is het de vierde keer dat Monique Witteman Barend tentoonstelt. Monique Witteman is niet de enige die Barend geweldig vindt: de jury heeft Barend al drie keer laten winnen. Zowel Monique Witteman en Barend lijken poezententoonstellingen leuk te vinden, want (…)
The first text is more readable because it makes use of a much wider range of cohesive devices. The term cohesion literally means ‘ clinging together ‘. It is used in linguistics to describe the use of special devices to make a text less boring and less repetitive, and therefore more readable. The term coherence is also used instead of cohesion, although in some linguistic theories there are subtle differences between the two terms. This grammar sticks with the term cohesion.
The main cohesive devices discussed in this grammar are:
- referring expressions (especially the use of pronouns)
- connectives (especially conjunctions)
- lexical variation (such as the use of synonyms)
- Lectures 17
- Quizzes 0
- Duration 50 hours
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 0
- Certificate No
- Assessments Yes
It is boring to repeat the same name, noun or noun phrase too many times. Most native language users employ the cohesive device of referring without thinking about it. If you are learning a foreign language, it is important to know how to use this ‘tool’.
(such as the use of synonyms)