Building Coherence and Cohesion

Task-oriented dialogue in English and Spanish

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This book examines the resources that speakers employ when building conversations. These resources contribute to overall coherence and cohesion, which speakers create and maintain interactively as they build on each other’s contributions. The study is cross-linguistic, drawing on parallel corpora of task-oriented dialogues between dyads of native speakers of English and Spanish. The framework of the investigation is the analysis of speech genres and their staging; the analysis shows that each stage in the dialogues exhibits different thematic, rhetorical, and cohesive relations. The main contributions of the book are: a corpus-based characterization of a spoken genre (task-oriented dialogue); the compilation of a body of analysis tools for generic analysis; application of English-based analyses to Spanish and comparison between the two languages; and a study of the characteristics of each generic stage in task-oriented dialogue.

Subjects: Romance linguistics; Germanic linguistics; Pragmatics; Discourse studies; English linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Simon Fraser University

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