Textual Grammar

1)What is cohesion? Text oriented notion (semantic concept) Relations of meaning that exist within a text, it occurs when the interpretation of an element in discourse is dependent on that of another (one presupposes the other). Cohesion is expressed through strata organization of language.

2)What is coherence? It concerns the ways in which the components of the textual world (concepts and relations) are mutually accessible and relevant. It is concerned with cognitive models that help us to understand texts.

3)Text and its standards: Texts have textuality and in order to be appropriate texts they have to fulfil seven standards: cohesion, coherence, intentionality, acceptability, informativity, situationality and intertextuality. This standards lead to appropriateness (pragmatic term) and it means that there is an agreement between its setting and the ways in which the standards of textuality are upheld.

4)What is situationality? This standard concerns the factors which make a text relevant to a situation of occurrence. It is a social standard. Example: SLOW – CHILDREN AT PLAY, we can find an economic text like that in a sign in a road, it fits with a certain situation which is a motorist who has little time and cannot play much attention to other things while driving.

5)Theme and rheme: It refers to known information and noteworthy information respectively. Theme and rheme belong to the thematic structure. Rheme is usually at the end of the sentence as a marker of new information; it is presented as the predicate/figure/new. Theme is presented as the subject / background/aboutness.

6)Difference between conceptualization and reference: Conceptualization is the mental representation of reality that makes use of the rich system of notions existing between the conceptualized entity and the background that shapes the frame that supports this representation. On the other hand reference is the function of using symbolic sequences in order to pick up elements in the real world. But there is much more meaning than their ontological existence, so meaning and conceptualization are a much richer system than the represented by reference, that’s the difference.

7)Old information related to Relevance and Informativity: Relevance is the process of how something will fit into something unexpected. Informativity concerns the extent to which the text is expected v/s unexpected.

8)3 Levels: Proposition -> Thematic structure -> Information structure in every level we can find; Subject and predicate -> theme and rheme -> old and new information. Also, in every level we can find: lexical semantics -> syntax -> discourse. (every sequence in that specific order)

9)Thematic structure as the interface between lexical semantics and discourse information: Interface between those two levels. Discourse does not have direct access to propositions. Propositions are based on lexical semantics and have specific meaning that is deprived from discourse meaning (old and new) so we need a system which transforms propositions into discourse semantics. The role of these transformations is taken over by syntax (thematic structure), which is the overtly expressed component of language, we use it because its flexibility, that is to say, we can change word order or add stresses onto syntactic components, we get various effects that are interpreted in conversational interaction/discourse.

10)Functional sentence perspective: The theory that looks at the alternation patterns of objectively and subjectively ordered sentences that enable the information flow from known to noteworthy couched in the terms of theme and rheme.

11)Intentionality and acceptability: User-centered notion, describes the psychological rationale of the text producer. The text producer’s attitude that the set of occurrence should constitute a cohesive and coherent text. All the ways in which text producers utilize text to pursue and fulfil their intentions. On the other hand acceptability relates to the rationale of the message receiver; text receiver’s attitude that the set of occurrences should constitute a cohesive and coherent text having some use of relevance, also, good-will of the listener/reader to assume that the wording is meaningful and purposeful.

12)Informativity: Related to acceptability. It deals with how the mind computes information, the extent to which the text is expected v/s unexpected or known v/s noteworthy.

13)Intertextuality: Deals with social aspects of text interpretation. It concerns the factors which make the utilization of one text dependent upon knowledge of one or more previously encountered texts. It can be explicit (explicit mention of a previous text) or implicit (example “In God we doubt” makes reference to the motto “In God we trust”, but it is implicit relationship). Sometimes it helps us to classify text types (we can recognize different text types because we see the same structure several times) in that case intertextuality is not related to specific wording.

14)Textuality as a non-structural notion: In structuralism there is a widespread idea of ranks, example: sentences consist of clauses, clauses consist of phrases, phrases consist of words, etc. Such a restriction doesn’t apply for texts; there is no grammatical rule which says that text should consist of certain number or types of sentences.

15)Text: unity and external relevance: Texts have textuality, within that there are two basic properties: Unity and Relevance to the environment. Unity means that a text is perceived as a unified whole and they have cohesion (intra-textual resources). On the other hand texts have relevance to the environment (over-textual dimensions) and it has to fulfil standards of informativity, situationality, acceptability, intertextuality, etc.

16)  Cohesive ties: Term to refer to a single instance of cohesion, one occurrence of a pair of cohesive related terms. Example: “Wash six cooking apples. Put them into a bowl.” In that sentence “them” and “six cooking apples” are the same (anaphoric, because the word “them” refers to something mentioned before, if it was the other way around it would be called cataphora)

17)Co-text and Con-text: Co-text -> linguistic elements, mainly cohesion (patterns of connection independent of structure). It means,  it works internally, going into the text  Con-text -> context, takes into account all that is known about the environment, extra-linguistic factors. Language without context is not language. In spite of being different,  in comparison , both are relatives in order to turn a text into an informative one.

18)Utterance: Is what is being said right now, concrete realization.

19)Conversational context: It is what has been said before and becomes part of the background.

20)World knowledge: It is what has NOT been said, but it is part of the common knowledge that everybody has.

21)Figure: New element, It has properties: unknown spatial properties, it is more moveable, smaller, geometrically simpler, more recently on the scene and in occurrence, greater concern or relevance, most salient once perceived, more dependent.

22)Background: Old element, Acts as a reference entity, has known properties, permanently located, larger, geometrically complex, and earlier in scene and in awareness, lesser concern or relevance, more backgrounded once the figure is noticed, independent.

When we keep on talking about the same thing over and over again (it becomes background information) we are being redundant, therefore there is no relevance and that makes the text collapse and so does its informativity, because there is no new information to convey.