The term “cohesion” describes the features of a text that promote or create
its sense of being a linguistic unity. Crystal in The Cambridge Encyclopedia
of Language called it “the ties that bind a text together”.
Studies of English language have identified particularly these as features
that promote cohesion:
- Conjunctive relations: where an explicit relation is made
between two sections of discourse: terms like “however, because…” serve to
mark such relations
- Anaphoresis: is where part of a text "points back"
to some earlier part. So for example, pronouns imply an already mentioned
noun and demonstratives imply previously mentioned or understood entities:
so “her” refers to a previously mentioned woman, and "there" implies
an already mentioned place
- Cataphoresis: is the reverse, a textual pointing forward
to what is to come. “Listen to this…” provides a common example of a demonstrative
serving this function
- Substitution: because it implies a connection between the
words or phrases involved promotes cohesion. Thus the phrase “the one enthroned
in heaven” in Ps 2:4 links to other mentions of YHWH (not least in the parallel
- Forms: that is elements of the shape of the text are
- Lexical and semantic relationships: when words or meanings
Studies of cohesive features of Hebrew are not as advanced, but in general
similar features seem to be at work.
This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,
© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim
Bulkeley. All rights reserved.