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Cohesion in English (English Language Series) Paperback – May 3, 1976

ISBN-13: 978-0582550414 ISBN-10: 0582550416 Edition: 1st

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Cohesion in English (English Language Series) + The Grammar of Discourse (Topics in Language and Linguistics) + The Uses of Grammar
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Product Details

  • Series: English Language Series
  • Paperback: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 1 edition (May 3, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582550416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582550414
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #479,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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"This is a book which the student who is interested in this relatively new area of linguistics cannot afford to neglect." English Studies

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mouldy Pilgrim on March 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Halliday and Hasan's "Cohesion in English" is in no way a light read to fill in lazy Sunday afternoons. This is one of the heaviest books I have read, and I have not used a dictionary so much since I last read Umberto Eco.

If you are into cohesion, and English, this is still a seminal text, despite the three decades that have passed since its publishing. It is a thorough book that covers topics such as lexical cohesion, ellipsis, substitution, referencing, and a whole host more. For cohesion, it is a hard book to surpass.

As mentioned by others, it is a book heavy on the vocabulary, and there were times when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. "Hypotactic" and "paratactic" remain some of my favourites that I will probably never use again.

"Cohesion in English" is probably not the best place to start, but it is a good book. For those looking for more detail on the material, this is a good addition to beef up your knowledge and get that knowledge to the next level. This is definitely not something you want to start reading if you are new to the field, or even thinking about it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Mueller on March 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In response to the reader from Japan, I would just like to note that this text was written for linguists, so if a reader does not have a strong background in linguistics and linguistic terms, the book will of course be very difficult.

It is, however, a highly regarded and quoted text in the field of linguistics, as well as in other related fields (TESOL, rhetoric and composition, etc.).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By donmusic on October 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
Halliday and Hasan have painstakingly assembled a fairly exhaustive catalog of devices used in the English language to say what one means without actually saying it (In the previous sentence, "it" would be an example). Even linguists have spent decades debating, and sometimes completely misunderstanding, this theory, so don't feel bad if you don't get it right away, because hardly anyone does. This is a theory. It is a description of a theoretical component of the English language offered in a Firthian, or polysystemic, perspective. It is the fruit of labor of staggering proportions. For linguists, it is well known. For teachers of English as a second language, it can serve as a valuable resource when students seem bewildered by the way that English so often says things without explicitly stating them. Cohesion in English remains an unsurpassed work of genius. It is a shame to see it out-of-print; it belongs in every linguist's library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Justin R. Woods on February 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The concept of cohesion as it relates to coherence and literary study will not disappoint any reader. After reading Halliday's "Intro to Functional Grammar" first, I took great interest in deepening my understanding of how cohesion in English furthers the concept of register, and the function of text and discourse.

Highly recommended.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By T. Hooper on September 7, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm currently studying for my Masters in TESOL, so I have to read a lot of books on linguistics, so it's not a light thing when I say this was the most difficult book I have ever read. The authors attempt to build a theory of cohesion. Cohesion is the phenomenon which holds a text (a term which also applies to spoken English) together as a whole. It starts off pretty well with Reference and Substitution as ways of providing cohesion, but when it gets to the section on Clausal Ellipsis, the structure breaks down. What you learned was verbal ellipsis is also propositional ellipsis which could also be another type of clausal ellipsis. Getting a headache yet? Just imagine reading over 300 pages of that. In the end, the authors don't make it clear what they want you to classify things as, and you also get a sense that this theory of cohesion doesn't really tell you much about the language anyway.

As I mentioned before, the text is packed with jargon and obscure terminology, so it takes forever to get through this text. Perhaps with a second or third reading it would make more sense, but I don't know many who would put themselves through that voluntarily. If you've been assigned this text, all I can say is good luck. If you have some control over the choice of your reading material, avoid this and try something in Discourse or Genre Analysis. You'll get more out of it and you won't get such a strong headache.
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