Volume 21, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
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The aim of this study is to explore the relationship between the forms of clause combination and their systematic patterns of explicit inter-clausal coherence. The study is conducted within the theoretical framework of the Adaptive Approach. The Adaptive Approach conceives of combined clauses as a hierarchy of conventionalized units for discourse coherence management. The grammatical properties of the different combined clauses determine their position on the hierarchy, and these properties are claimed to correlate with whether the construction is more, or less, of a cohesive unit for packaging multiple propositions. The study pursues the hypothesis that clauses higher on the hierarchy, being the more cohesive grammatical constructions, should tend to manage coherence between the propositions they combine (i.e. the clausal constituents) through fewer explicit discourse-pragmatic ties than the clauses considered less cohesive grammatical constructions. An analysis of cohesive ties in 450 combined clauses, representing 9 different English clause types, bears out these expectations. This is a significant result indicating that an inverse relationship exists between the level of grammatical integration and the frequency of inter-clausal cohesive ties. It is argued to be a quantifiable consequence of grammatical hierarchy, reflecting a continuum of coherence management from discourse to grammar.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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