Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching

The Analysis of Cohesion and Coherence in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Author ShiJin
Tutor KangGuangMing
School Shandong Agricultural University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords cohesion and coherence Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland SystemicFunctional Grammar
CLC H319
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Reading and writing have always been the most important part in English teaching. From the perspective of CET-4and CET-6nowadays, students’abilities in reading and writing also have been the main object of English teaching. But with the autonomous learning in new curriculum reformation which aims at students’own development, teachers’ participation in teaching instruction has been less and less. Thus, the basic grammar knowledge of students is becoming weaker and weaker. Through the observation of test scores in CET-4and CET-6, we can find that most students have difficulties in getting the main idea of the text and understanding the discourse structure. Also, in their writings, there exists the phenomenon of semantic incoherence, organizing deficiency and structural looseness. These problems are all caused by the neglect of the importance of cohesion and coherence.A survey made by Maclean&Chapman (2005) found that students in the experiment all thought understanding cohesion and coherence devices in novels was much easier than in other discourse styles. Cohesion in English, as the representation of the beginning of cohesion and coherence analysis by Halliday and Hasan (2001), excerpted examples in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland(later called Alice) several times to illustrate cohesion and coherence. Thus, as a full-length novel, it is quite a fine discourse material for cohesion and coherence analysis.Based on the framework of three metafunctions in Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG) of Halliday, this thesis aims to study Alice through quantitative and qualitative research in the analysis of cohesion and coherence. For quantitative study, it counts the amount of transitivity, mood and modality devices, investigating and analyzing the macro discourse style of this novel. For qualitative study, it explores and explains the nonstructural cohesion devices as well as explicit and implicit coherence devices and explains how Lewis Carroll turned a seemingly absurd fairy tale into the favorite children’s literature in19th century.The study finds that cohesion and coherence not only help to make discourse smooth on its surface level, but also work to push forward the plot of the story and reveal the central idea of the discourse. Moreover, the cohesion and coherence in literary discourse present a more complex mode than in other discourse styles.The result shows a positive effect on English reading and writing of teachers and students. For teachers, just paying attention to macro discourse in reading is not enough. The teaching emphasis should be put on micro levels and combined with contexts, also. For students, the using of discourse cohesion and coherence devices such as conjunctions etc. should be mastered in the process of reading and writing, then the whole discourse will be better understood.This thesis consists of five chapters. Chapter one briefly deals with the background, the research questions, significance, methodology and organization of this thesis. Chapter two reviews the previous studies carried out both at home and abroad. Chapter three introduces the theoretical framework of the study--Halliday’s three metafunctions in Systemic Functional Grammar. Chapter four deals with the quantitative and qualitative analyses of Alice. Chapter five summarizes the content of the whole thesis, giving answers to the research questions raised in chapter one and presenting the implications of this study. It also points out the limitations of this research and gives suggestions for further studies.

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