Volume 73, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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This article deals with two key issues in discourse studies. First, to what extent is there a correspondence in the labelling of coherence relations? Second, to what extent are coherence relations judged as semantic or pragmatic? In an experiment, it was examined how actual readers interpret the relation between utterances, by presenting them with sets of utterances which contained both a semantic and a pragmatic relation. It was concluded that the correspondence in labelling was high and that in most cases the respondents chose the intended label. The majority of the respondents judged the relations either semantic or pragmatic, in the course of which most relations were evaluated as predominantly semantic. Moreover, readers judged a relation more semantic when the text contained factual information or portrayed a situation outside the speaker's control. The relation is more pragmatic when the credibility of the utterances is dubious or when utterances are unverifiable.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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