Please enter verification code
Contextual Relevance: The Basic Condition for Textual Coherence
International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages: 42-49
Received: Nov. 4, 2018; Accepted: Jan. 28, 2019; Published: Feb. 22, 2019
Views 875      Downloads 153
Li Chuntao, School of Foreign Languages, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, China
Han Caiying, School of Foreign Languages, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, China
Article Tools
Follow on us
The present paper aims to reveal what the basic condition for textual coherence is. The research method is mainly comparison and theoretical argumentation. In the first part of the paper three major theories are compared and the contributions and limitations of each are pointed out. The current situation is that the research on textual theory still lays its emphasis on the aspect of linguistic forms; the interpretations for textual coherence in the aspect of language meaning and the recognition of the essence and the condition of textual coherence are not yet deep nor comprehensive enough. Then in part two the authors reveal the different knowledge or enlightenments by the three theories about what textual coherence is, and argue that semantic relevance is the essence of textual coherence. In fact the production and understanding of language cannot be free from context. Context constrains the generation of coherent texts and the cognition of the coherence of the text. So part three of the paper elaborates the constraining effect of various contexts on the relevance of the meaning of the various linguistic items within the text. In the end the paper draws the conclusion that contextual relevance is the basic condition for textual coherence, that is to say, only relevant contexts can bring a smooth, logically coherent text.
Text, Coherence, Semantic Relevance, Contextual Relevance, Basic Condition
To cite this article
Li Chuntao, Han Caiying, Contextual Relevance: The Basic Condition for Textual Coherence, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 7, No. 1, 2019, pp. 42-49. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20190701.16
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Jianli Zhang,A Survey of the Study of Coherence [J]. Foreign Language Teaching and Research, 1998(4), pp. 40-46.
Delu Zhang, A Survey of Studies on Text Coherence [J]. Foreign Languages, 1999(6), pp. 24-31.
Grice, H. P., Logic and Conversation [A], 1975. In P. Cole and J. Morgan, eds. Syntax and Semantics 3: Speech Acts New York: Academic Press, 1975, 1981.
Qiang Zhang, The Reflection of Markedness in Prototype Category Theory on Semantic Level and Its Implications for Second Language Acquisition [J]. International Journal of Language and Linguistics, 2014(2), p. 95.
Halliday, M. &Hasan, R., Cohesion in English [M]. London: Longman, 1976, p. 2.
Sperb, D. & Wilson, D., Relevance: Communication and Cognition [M]. Oxford, Blackwell, 1995.
Gongli Lu, The Ultimate Reference of Context and the Evolution and Reformulation of the Theory of Implicature [J]. Foreign Languages, 1996(4), pp. 10-17.
MuqingXiong andXiamin Liu,A Critical View of Coherence Theories from Conditions of Coherence [J]. Foreign Languages, 1999(3), pp. 22-28.
Widhiya Ninsiana, Grammatical Cohesion Devices on the Indonesian Translation of English Bidding Document [J]. International Journal of Language and Linguistics, 2014(6), p. 362.
Richards, Jack et al, Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics [M]. London: Longman, 1985, p. 45.
Qilong Cheng, Text Coherence in Information Flow [J]. Foreign Languages, 1998(1), p. 6.
Jicheng Lin, On the Conditions of Textual Coherence [J]. Modern Foreign Languages, 1988(4), p. 9.
Yue’e Li and Caiying Han, A Brief Discussion on Context Constraints on the Semantic Relevance of Situational Conversation Discourse [J]. Foreign Languages and Their Teaching, 2002(5), pp. 12-16.
Guichun Guo, On Context [J]. Philosophical Researches, 1997(4), p. 48.
Jiansheng YAN, Information Construction of News Discourse under the Perspective of Intertextuality [J]. Studies in Literature and Language, 2017(1), pp. 18-21.
Caiying Han, On the Nature of Context [J]. Journal of Dialectics of Nature, 2004(5), p. 47.
Datondji Cocou André, A Study of Context and Figurative Language in Buchi Emecheta’s “The Rape of Shavi”: A Pragmatic Approach [J]. Communication and Linguistics Studies, 2017(1), p. 5.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186