Textual cohesion

Cohesion or textual cohesion is the connection and harmony between the textual elements and is made through prepositions, conjunctions, some adverbs and adverbial phrases. [ 1 ] [ 2 ]

1Referential cohesion

2Lexical cohesion

3Cohesion by ellipse

4Cohesion by substitution


Referential cohesion edit edit source code ]

Referential cohesion is built by mentioning elements that have already appeared, or will appear, in the text itself. For the effectiveness of these references, personal pronouns, possessives, demonstratives or adverbial expressions are used that indicate location (below, above, below, previously, here, where etc.). These resources can either refer, in advance, to elements that will be cited in the sequence of the text (cataphor), or they can resume, as in the following example, elements already cited in the text or that are easily identifiable by the reader (anaphor):

The explosion of information is one of the causes of modern man’s stress. It can cause various forms of anxiety.

The pronoun “Ela” takes up the antecedent “information explosion” [ 1 ] .

Lexical cohesion 

Maintaining the thematic unity of the text, which requires a certain amount of redundancy, is at the basis of lexical cohesion. Thus, a chain of meanings can be established by taking up the same ideas and using different terms and expressions. This chain is formed by the reuse of words, the use of synonyms, or even the use of equivalent expressions to replace terms already used, or to identify or name elements that have already appeared in the text, as in the following example:

Dr. Carlos gave an interview during the conference break. The interviewed scientist recognizes that, based on the use of scientific knowledge, it is possible to rationalize production systems. Now this scholar wants to contribute to the democratization of knowledge.

The terms “O Doutor Carlos”, “The scientist interviewed” and “this scholar” refer to the same person.

Ellipse cohesion

The structure of periods in the Portuguese language allows the omission of elements that are easily identifiable or that have already been mentioned, a strategy called cohesion by ellipse. This omission is sometimes marked by a comma. Pronouns, verbs, names and whole sentences may be implied. The following excerpt is an example of the subject’s omission from the sentence.

The scientific methodology is a set of systematic, rational activities, which, with security and economy, allows the objectives to be achieved. It implies the conception of ideas regarding the delimitation of the problem within the subject.

The word “Implica” has as its implicit subject “The scientific methodology”.

Cohesion by substitution 

In substitution cohesion, nouns, verbs, periods or large portions of text are replaced by connectors or expressions that summarize and resume what has already been said, ensuring its sequencing. Expressions such as the following serve this purpose: before what has been exposed; from these considerations; before this picture; in view of that; everything that has been said; this picture etc. 

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