From lexical and conjunctive cohesion to coherence : reading, recalling and comprehending high cohesive and low cohesive clauses

Gönül, Gökhan
The aim of this thesis was to investigate the connection between cohesion, coherence and comprehension, and to understand the role of lexical cohesion and conjunctive cohesion in two-clausal sentences. On the basis of these aims, four groups of were constituted. The first group of sentences was constituted with lexical cohesion and the contrastive conjunctive marker ama or fakat (but), the second group had lexically cohesive clauses without the contrastive marker, the third group had disrupted lexical association with the contrastive marker, and the fourth group had disrupted lexical association without the contrastive marker. The first two groups were labeled the high cohesion group, the third and fourth groups were the low cohesion group. Though the sentences could be low or high cohesive, all of them were coherent (their coherence were evaluated by two linguists). These four different groups of sentences were presented to four groups of participants. For off-line measurement, acceptability judgment questions, free recall (for text-based comprehension) and response time results were used; in addition, eye tracking results were used. While reading the sentences, participants repeated the [b] sound unceasingly for articulatory suppression. Results showed the facilitative role of cohesion in recall. The high cohesion group had better recall results than the low cohesion group. It was hypothesized that the cohesiveness of clauses decreased linearly from group one to group four. The results of the acceptability judgments (which intended a question which provided participants to evaluate the understandability of a clause from a scale) supported the assumption. Moreover, as it was expected, the facilitative role of some lexical cohesion items (synonymy and antonymy) was more powerful, than others (meronymy and hyponymy) in recall. Lexical cohesion had a more facilitative role than conjunctive cohesion in recall. Eye tracking results also indicate the facilitative role of cohesion, the more the sentence was cohesive the less the mean of the fixation count of per word in a clause was. To sum up, as McNamara and Kintsch (1996) also emphasized, cohesion facilitated text-based comprehension in two-clausal sentences. The results also indicated the fact that some cohesion devices had more powerful effect on text-based comprehension than others didn't.


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Citation Formats
G. Gönül, “ From lexical and conjunctive cohesion to coherence : reading, recalling and comprehending high cohesive and low cohesive clauses,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2013.