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Discourse Analysis Master's Assignment

1051 words - 4 pages

Lexical Cohesion and Meaning Construction-- A Case Study of "Colors of the Wind" (1995)[1: See Appendix for the lyrics of "Colors of the Wind" (1995).]IntroductionMichael Hoey's Patterns of Lexis in Text (1991) attaches great importance to how cohesive features combine to organize texts. In another word, he tries to see how lexical relation contributes to text patterning. Text is a meaning unit and text pattern is a catalyst of meaning generation. Therefore, lexical relation helps to construct texual meaning.This paper chooses "Colors of the Wind" as the target text for analysis, the theme song of Disney movie Pocahontas (1995). And the case study intends to find how lexical relation helps to construct textual meaning.MethodologyAccording to Hoey, sentences are said to be appropriately connected when at least three repetitions (where a bond is established) are found between two sentences, however far apart. Based on this principle, the author calculates lexical bonds in the song to scrutinize lexical cohesion and its relation to texual meaning construction. Different from narratives, song lyrics are not structurally-based but meaning-based. Singers usually stop at the end of a meaning unit (usually one paragraph). In order to make the methodology more applicable, this study treats paragraph as the basic unit of lexical bond calculation.FindingsTable/Graph for lexical cohesion

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Finding 1: Every paragraph is at least connected to one other paragraph.Finding 2: Paragraph 1 has 6 lexical bonds, Paragraph 6 has 3, Paragraphs 2, 3, 7 have 2, and Paragraphs 4, 5, 8 have 1. Finding 3: Connection can be claimed between Paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and Paragraphs 6, 7, but no connection can be claimed between Paragraphs 2, 3, 4 or between Paragraphs 6, 7.Data AnalysisFinding 1: Singers need to win support from listeners with the strategy of reinforcement. Reinforcement requires repetitions and repetitions are stylistically regular for lyric texts. That is why all paragraphs are connected with at least one other paragraph.Finding 2: In her contrastive study of lexical cohesion in English, Chinese and EFL texts, Professor Yang Yuchen concludes Sentence 1 is mostly the topic sentence of an English text. The discovery makes a tentative account of why Paragraph 1 has most lexical bonds.Finding 3: Echo is a conventional strategy to keep lyric text cohesive and echo usually happens in the end. That explains the connection between Paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and Paragraphs 6, 7. However, Paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and Paragraphs 6, 7 support Paragraph 1 from different aspects, which explains the inappropriate connection between Paragraphs 2, 3, 4 or between Paragraphs 6, 7.DiscussionLexical cohesion's contribution to meaning constructionThe number of lexical bonds illustrates the...

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