The Syndetic And Asyndetic Coordinations English Language Essay
The concept of cohesion is a semantic one; it refers to relations of meaning that exist within a text, and that define it as text. Cohesion occurs where the interpretation of some element in the discourse is dependent on that of another. The one presupposes the other, in the sense that it cannot be effectively decoded except by recourse to it. When this happens, a relation of cohesion is set up, and the two elements, the presupposing and the presupposed, are thereby at least potentially integrated into a text.
Carter defines cohesion as “the demonstrable pattern of the text‘s integrity, the marks of its ‘hanging’ together” (245).
Coordination is a part of the system of a language. As a tool of cohesion, coordination is a process used in a language to combine units to make other units. It is part of the basic efficiency of language through which simple units like phrases and the simple sentence are re-cycled to make longer and perhaps more complex units. Coordinationinvolves the linking of units, in coordination; the units are constituent of the same level. In relating coordination to cohesion in poetic texts, reference needs to be made to the structural definition of poems;
As Bloom asserts:
Poems are not things but only words that refer to other words and those words refer to still other words, and so on into the densely overpopulated world of literary language. Any poem is an inter-poem, and any reading of a poem is an inter-reading. [...] You cannot write or teach or think or even read without imitation, and what you imitate is what another person has done, that person's writing or teaching or thinking or reading. Your relation to what informs that person is tradition. (107-108).
Bloom is also of the view that:
What makes possible reading and writing is not a single anterior action which serves as origin and moment of plenitude but an open series of acts, both identifiable and lost, which work together to constitute something like a language: discursive possibilities, systems of convention, clichés and descriptive systems. (110)
1.1 RESEARCH PROBLEM
Poetic text may appear as fragmented association of words on the page. Yet, it makes powerful impressions and has a huge communicative effect. What text-forming resources contribute to this apparent meaningfulness? And in what ways are these resources employed in poetic text? How does this knowledge illumine our understanding of text and texture? These problems are addressed in the present study.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study are as follows:
To examine the language of the selected poems of ChicayaUtamsi’s‘BOW HARP’.
To provide a better understanding and appreciation of the elements of coordination as employed in the poems.
As Leech & Shortassert:
The poet ... does 'interesting things' with language ... in poetry; aesthetic effect cannot be separated from the creative manipulation of the linguistic code ... inherent in the language. (2)
This study, hence, set out to analyze some six selectedpoems of TchikayaU’tamsititled ‘Bow Harp’.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Since researches in this area of study have not been exhaustively conducted, it is hoped that this studymay have its own contribution as it applies to analysis ofcoordinations in poetic texts.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research project is concerned with the analysis of “BOW HARP” which was originally written in French by TchicayaU’tamsi and translated into English by Gerald Moore.
The selection of the particular poems to be analyzed in this study is based on the recurrent themes they reflect and the belief that the poems manifest significantly the thematic concerns of the poet. The poems are selected and analyzed to discover how coordination is used in explicating certain message of the poet .
The study endeavors to discuss the concept of coordination as it relates to cohesion.
The present study focuses on the level of coordination and textual cohesion in the text.
Hence, particular attention is given to the prominent coordinating features such as conjunctions, and, or, but.
1.5 METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY
The research examines coordination against the background of cohesion. The thematic function of the text forming resources is analyzed in the framework of conjunctions. The poetic texts are closely examined and used as a background to the analysis.
Nevertheless, reference has been made to articles, journals and other scholarly books.
THE POET TCHICAYA U TAM’SI
TchicayaU’Tamsi(1931-1988), the oldest of a generation of important Congolese writers, is one of the few whose reputation has reached beyond the confines of francophone Africa and France. While recognizing him as one of the leading contemporary African poets, critics and readers remain strangely reserved. Tchicaya’s writing defies classification. His intensely personal worldview and poetic expression create his own individual mythology, which sets him apart from all neat literary categories. His poetry is often described as hermetic. At the same time the poet’s obvious mastery of his medium precludes his being dismissed as obscure or unintelligible.
At times U’tamsi’s own words would seem to confirm his link with the surrealists. The surrealist poet’s highly individualistic message was “dictated” by his subconscious being, which he believed to be the echo of the universal consciousness. It was expressed by an arbitrary association of words which, at first reading, the poet often understood no better than the reader. Thisis very different from U’tamsi’s dense and at times esoteric imagery, by which he expresses his profound and passionate identification with the suffering of Africa and, more particularly, of the Congo. U’tamsi’s imagery is distinguishable from that of the surrealists because of its coherent scheme of reference and worldview.
This chapter is devoted to throwing some light on the theoretical aspects of the research work. The term coordination is central to this study. Nevertheless, derivations of coordination as a branch of linguistic study, how it has been explained and used in other genres will be looked at in order to set-up a conceptual framework that would help to make things clear and lay the foundation for subsequent analysis.
2.1. The Concept in Focus
Haspelmath(2000) defines coordination as “syntactic constructions in which
two or more units of the same type are combined into larger units and still have the same
semantic relations with other surrounding elements (1).”
Bloomfield’s similar definition of coordination contrasts it with subordination:
Endocentric constructions are of two kinds, co-ordinative(or serial) and
subordinative(or attributive). In the former type the resultant phrase belongs to the same form-class as two or more of the constituents...In subordinative
endocentric constructions, the resultant phrase belongs to the same form-class as one of the constituents, which we call the head. (195).
Both of these definitions are syntactic, and emphasize the balanced syntactic
relationship between coordinated items. In addition, both definitions state that the
structure resulting from coordination is of the same type (semantic in Haspelmath’s
definition, syntactic in Bloomfield’s) as the coordinated items. Yuasa and sadock in agreement with the observation of Bloomfield further mention 5 criteria that confirms the presence of coordination:
Reversibility: changing the order of the conjuncts does not affect the truth conditions.
Application of the coordinate structure constraint: the constituents of one clause cannot be questioned separately.
No backward anaphora: a pronoun in the first clause cannot co refer with a full NP in the second clause.
Multiple conjuncts are possible.
All the conjuncts are equally asserted. (87-111.)
Halliday and Hasan (1976) describe coordination as an intrasentential structural device. However, they do acknowledge that sets of sentences similar to coordination do exist especially if they share parallel structure, and view coordination as a structure of the paratactic type (223)
CathrineFabricius-Hansen and Ramm, W. (2005) describe coordination as being used as a means of clause combining and information packaging at discourse level and differs from a sentence sequence by explicitly instructing the reader to ‘keep the two propositions together’ in discourse processing. For example in establishing a discourse structure, licensing the inference of certain discourse relations to hold between the conjuncts, while blocking others. As a means of constructing (more) complex (clause/VP) constituents from simpler ones of the same syntactic category, coordination can be compared to certain kinds of adjunction, i.e. syntactic subordination (175-213).
Coordination has been viewed by various scholars as processes used by languages to combine units to make other units. Or as a part of the basic efficiency of language through which simple units like phrases and the simple sentence are re-cycled to make longer and perhaps more complex units.
Dickens (2009) re-categorizes coordinators as existing in a semantic clinewith disjuncts. By this he means a scale of varying levels of coordination: whilecoordinators such as and establish an equivalent and non-adverbial relationship betweentwo clauses such that neither is subordinate to the other, disjuncts like sinceestablishsome degree of indirectness and an adverbial relationship between the clauses (42:1076-1136).
2.2. Types of Coordination
Syndetic and Asyndetic coordination
Haspelmath and Quirk et al define asyndetic and syndetic coordination as Coordinate constructions lacking overt coordinator (asyndetic coordination) or having some overt linking devices such as conjunctions; and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet.(syndetic coordination).
a). Slowly and stealthily, he crept towards his victim.(Quirk et al:50)
And Asyndetic coordination as when the relationship of coordination is not marked overtly;
a). Slowly, stealthily, he crept towards his victim. .(Quirk et al:50)
Though there exist a relatively fixed order for subclasses of adjectives in asyndetic coordination, but the order is said to be relatively free when a coordinator is present.
2.3 Asyndetic Coordination
Kane (1988) states that despite its formidable name asyndeton is nothing more than a different way of handling a list or a series, Asyndeton uses no conjunctions and separates the terms of the list with commas. It differs from the conventional treatment of lists and series, which is to use only commas between all items except the last two, these being joined by a conjunction. Asyndeton is linked to asyndetic coordination. Asyndeton produces a hurried rhythm in the sentence.
Corbett (1971) cites Aristotle’s observation that ‘asyndeton was especially
appropriate for the conclusion of a discourse, because there, perhaps more than in
other places in the discourse, we may want to produce the emotional reaction that
can be stirred by, among other means, rhythm’, (470).
Asyndeton is the instance of conjoining constructions in which there are no coordinators (also referred to as juxtaposition); monosyndeton, in which there is one coordinator; and polysyndeton, in which more than one coordinator is used.
2.4. Syndetic Coordination
Polysyndeton is regarded as a way of ‘handling a list or a series, places a conjunction (and, or) after every term in the list (except, the last)’. It is said to’ differs from the conventional treatment of lists and series, which is to use only commas between all items except the last two, these being joined by a conjunction’(Kane:1988). Polysyndeton is linked to Syndetic coordination , as opposed to Asyndeton which is linked to Asyndetic coordination.
2.5 Monosyndetic and Bisyndetic Coordination
Coordination’s may either have a single coordinator (monosyndetic) or two
Haspelmath (2000) proffers some relevant constituency tests for monosyndetic coordination:
(i) Intonation: In certain cases, English and forms an intonation group
with the following phrase, not with the preceding phrase.
(ii) Pauses: In English, it is much more natural to pause before and
than after and.
(iii) Discontinuous order: In special circumstances, the coordinands may
be separated by other material, as when a coordinand is added as an
afterthought. In English, the coordinator must be next to the second
coordinand (e.g. My uncle will come tomorrow, or my aunt). Not my uncle or will come tomorrow, my aunt.
(iv) (Morpho)phonological alternations: When the coordinator or one of
thecoordinand undergoes (morpho)phonological alternations in the
construction, this is evidence that they form a constituent together. (121)
2.6. The Nature of Coordination
2.6.1 Contrastive Coordination
2.6.2 Conjunction and Disjunction
Haspelmath (2000) states that many languages distinguish between normal coordination such as A and B, X or Y, which may also be referred to as conjunctionand what might be called contrastive coordination: both A and B, either X or Y. The semantic difference he views is that in contrastive coordination, it is emphasized that each coordinand belongs to the coordination and each of them is considered separately.
Hence, it creates opposing notion of meaning inherent in the text because two things cannot be separately similar. And like conjunction, Haspelmath (2000) regard disjunction markers as “often polyfunctional”.
Dickens (2009) states that “Disjuncts display some coordinator-like properties, so they are grouped on a continuum with coordinators” (1089).
Halliday and Hassan (1976) see conjunction as a cohesive device that relates sentences.
Conjunctive elements they state:
are cohesive not in themselves but indirectly, by virtue of their specific meanings; they are not primarily devices for reaching out into the preceding text, but express certain meanings which presuppose the presence of other components in the discourse (226).
As similarly described by Bloor and Bloor (1995).
Halliday and Hasan (1976) indicate that “conjunctive relations are not tied to any particular sequence in the expression”.
Nevertheless, they argue that amongst the cohesion forming devices within text, conjunction is seen as the least directly identifiable relation. Conjunction they assume act as semantic cohesive tie within text in four categories:
Additive, adversative, causal and temporal. Additive conjunction acts to structurally coordinate or link by adding to the presupposed item and are signaled through “and, also, too, furthermore, additionally”, etc. Additive conjunction may also act to negate the presupposed item and is signaled by “nor, and...not, either, neither”, etc. Adversative conjunctions act to indicate “contrary to expectation” (250) and are signaled by “yet, though, only, but, in fact, rather”, etc. Causal conjunction expresses “result, reason and purpose” and is signaled by “so, then, for, because. Adversative coordination seems ‘always binary’; - it must consist of two coordinands, so is described as causal and then is described as temporal (227).
Halliday and Hassan acknowledge that conjunction is derived from coordination, they argue that “Conjunction … is not simply coordination extended so as to operate between sentences”, noting that one difference between coordinate and and conjunctive and is that coordinate and can link any number of items, whereas conjunctive and links pairs of sentences. They view conjunctions as expressing one or other of a small number of very general relations (238).
In the same vein Halliday and Matthiessen (1999) in relation to its cohesive function state that “In conjunction, the various logical-semantic relations of expansion that construe clause complex structures … are deployed instead as a source of cohesion”.
They argue that among other resources which construe clauses and clause complexes into longer stretches of discourse without the formality of further grammatical structure are conjunction and lexical cohesion (530-31).
Halliday and Matthiessen (1999) in extending the notion of language resources as tools of broadening and reaching out into meaning view that specific kinds of expansion or projection can be construed as either paratactic or hypotactic, insisting that some level of partial association exist, where some form of combinations are favored, while others are disfavored.
They explain another kind of expansion in terms of conjunctive relations employing such conjunctions as and, or, but, instead, besides; as an additive, alternative, replacement, reservation, contrast. A third kind occurs with the use of adverbs functioning as conjunctions marking either the enhancing clause or correspondingly the one being enhanced (520-1).
Scott Drellishak (2004) in his thesis: “A Survey of Coordination Strategies in the World’s Languages” quotes Gleitman (1965) as viewing conjunction as one of many syntactic processes that serve the purpose of indicating contrast or reducing repetition ; conjoined sentence that does not indicate contrast or reduce repetition is described as not serving any purpose. (268)
2.7. Phrasal Coordination
If two expressions have different semantic roles it will not be possible to coordinate them. Although it is sometimes said that the coordinands must belong to the same phrasal category; for instance, (tea) NP or (in a NigerianRestaurant) PP is said to be ungrammatical because it consists of an NP and a PP. However, coordination of different phrasal categories is often possible when both have the same semantic role.
Also in phrasal coordination, “the order of conjoined words can be influenced by the tendency for the shorter word to come first and within phrasal coordination, there can be ellipsis of the determiner” (Quirk et al: 610).
2.8. Clausal Coordination
When two or more clauses are coordinated, certain clause constituents are often ellipted from all but one of the clauses. More often than not, the effect of ellipsis is no more than to suggest a closer connection between the content of the clauses but sometimes the effect is to indicate that there is a combined process rather than two separate processes.
And and or as clause linkers are restricted to initial position. Coordinated clauses with ‘and and or are sequentially fixed in relation to the previous clause and cannot be transposed without producing ungrammaticality in sentence structure’ (Quirk et al: 553), a clause containing a conjunct may be linked to a preceding clause by one of the coordinating conjunctions (and, or, but) but not all the conjuncts admit each coordinator (Quirk et al:552-553).
2.9. Taxis in coordination
The term taxis in English grammar means ‘arrangement’ of units of ideas, thought, sentence constituents, structures that are grammatical constructs. In English grammar, taxis is categorized into two broad parts:
Parataxis refers to the organization of clausal units on a parallel level employing coordinating conjunctions as the case may be. The center point of coordination is considered to be parataxis. The elements placed side by side does not exhibit a dependency relation and exists in no specified order of occurrence.
Lakoff (1971) and Martin (1983) view Parataxis as the hallmark of coordination. Most often, the equality of the clauses is said to be clear both grammatically and semantically. Different units can be joined with Coordination at any level. The conjoined units, elements thus linked exhibit same semantic and syntactic category. This instance of conjoining equal grammatical structures (coordination) form our focus in this study and deviates from Hypotaxis which is the organization of constituents on a dependency relation with the use of subordinating conjunctions; it forms the basis of subordination in English grammar.
2.10. Symmetric and asymmetric coordination
Coordinate constructions are said to have symmetrical properties such that conjuncts are paratactically construed, that a conjunct is not subordinated to another conjunct, that conjuncts have the same syntactic and semantic function ; on the other hand they have asymmetric properties such as command relationship between the first and the second conjuncts. This case is referred to as ‘balanced and unbalanced’ case of coordination.
2.11. Approaches to Coordination Analysis and Coordination in Different Genres
In poetic texts, the study of coordination is quite sparse and limited. For instance Miller (2007) explores biblical Hebrew poetry and the relationship of coordination to verbal gapping is what forms her point of focus. She comes up with the findings that asyndetic coordination is the hallmark of biblical Hebrew poetry and especially early poetry (41-60).
Miller’s corpus contains 123 lines from the book of Isiah.
Svetlana Petrova& Michael Solf (2008) explore ‘rhetorical relations and verb placement in the early Germanic languages’. It presents a diachronic study about the distinction between coordination and subordination in discourse; it focuses on Old High German and on other early Germanic languages.
Petrova and Solf consider other kinds of data, mostly from declaratives, in support of the claim that verb placement serves certain discourse functions in early Germanic languages.
They come up with the finding that Verb fronting seems to have a clear functional purpose, as it is used to mark episode boundaries in Old High German. The study goes further in identifying some correlations between verb placement and discourse-structuring phenomenon in Old English, Old Saxon, and Old Norse, with similar discourse-structuring functions. A cross -linguistic approach is adopted in the study as opposed to functional approach in analysis.
Ash Asudeh and Richard Crouch (2002) examine ‘Coordination and Parallelism in Glue Semantics’ exploring points of convergence and divergence between approach to coordination and similar Categorial Grammar (CG) approaches. The research discusses parallelism in connection with the Coordinate Structure Constraint. The paper presents an account of the semantics of coordination, framed within the theory of Glue Semantics.
The goal of a GLUE derivation as explicated in the study is to consume all the lexical premises to produce a single conclusion; stating the meaning of the sentence. Further asserting that Semantic ambiguity results when there are alternative derivations from the same set of premises.
This study shares common interest with the present one as both relates coordination to instances of cohesion. While this study argues for glue approach to coordination the present study differs on the ground of functional approach of analysis.
David Bell (2007) examines both the frequency and function of SIA (sentence initial and) and SIB (sentence initial but) in academic writing and its importance in understanding language in literary texts.
While coordinator and is more frequent in academic prose than but, SIA is much less frequent than SIB. Collected data show a marked difference in the use of SIA and SIB across different genres of academic writing with SIA and SIB being far more prevalent in the humanities journals. Furthermore, the study shows that SIA, when compared with other additive connectives such as moreover, furthermore, in addition, etc., is the most frequently occurring additive marker in academic writing, while SIB is the second most preferred connective after however.
With regard to function, the study goes on to argue that both SIA and SIB in academic writing function in three very similar ways: (i) to mark off a discourse unit by indicating the last item on a list; (ii) to indicate the development of an argument; and (iii) to indicate a
discontinuity or shift with a previous discourse unit. This is in line with Halliday and Hassan’s (1975) view as regard the function of SIA and SIB. The study further asserts that whereas the most common function of SIA is that of indicating the last item on a list, the most common use of SIB is in the development of arguments. It argues that SIA and SIB perform special functions than the alternatives of asyndetic or “zero” coordination, the use of discourse markers that share their broad semantic function: Moreover, furthermore, in addition, and however, respectively, or intrasentential coordination cannot perform.
The study proffers that the features allow SIA and SIB to preface a wider range of lexico-grammatical units such as interrogatives, stance adverbs and other discourse connectives and to create a tighter cohesive fit. It comments that it is these special features of cohesion which are held to explain the occurrence of SIA and SIB in academic writing. The focus here is on the use of SIA and SIB in academic discourse, it excluded occurrences of SIA and SIB in academic writing from other modes such as in transcripts of conversations, in quotes from fiction or in poetic texts which is the sole focus of the present research.
Halliday and Hasan (1975) on SIA as part of their larger discussion of conjunction as one cohesive device in the concept of cohesion describes coordination as an intrasentential structural device while conjunction is seen as a cohesive device that relates sentences. In their examination of conjuncts, SIA is described as signaling an additive relationship between sentences while but is described as an adversative. Halliday and Hasan note that one difference between coordinate and, and conjunctive and, is that coordinate and can link any number of items, whereas conjunctive and links pairs of sentences (235).
Halliday and Hasan distinguish a further use of SIA, which they suggest comes closest to its structural function as a coordinator, they call it “‘next in a series’” (236).
They suggest that another example would be “a series of points all contributing to one general argument.” In this function, Halliday and Hasan argue that And retains some of the retrospective or retrojective effect, i.e. ‘projecting backwards’ that and has as a coordinator (236).
Here, SIA is viewed as signaling not the last item on a list but rather the continuation of an ongoing list of items. The study explicates that however, apart from the cases cited above where cohesive And operates similarly to coordinator and, the typical context for SIA is one where “there is a total, or almost total shift in the participants from one sentence to the next, and yet the two sentences are very definitely part of a text” (235).
Another common context in narrative fiction for this shift is at the boundary of dialogue and narrative.
What have been shown here is that SIA and SIB provide special features of cohesion that alternative forms of coordination do not.
Schiffrin (1986, 1987, 2006) examines utterance and turn-initial and in conversation. She argues that and has two roles in talk: An ideational role where it coordinates idea units - what she calls a “discourse coordinator” role, and an interactional or pragmatic or discourse marker role where it continues a speaker’s action, i.e. marking the speaker’s upcoming utterance as a continuation of the content and structure of an interaction, and these two functions most often occur simultaneously (1987: 128). As a marker of functionally differentiated idea units, the presence of and signals that the speaker identifies an upcoming unit as structurally coordinated or equivalent to a prior unit. In this way, and can differentiate among other things in narrative, support and position in arguments and explanations, and can also differentiate discourse topics. However, Schiffrin stresses that identifying the nature of these units “depends on textual information beyond and itself” (1987: 141).
In Summary Halliday and Hasan (1976), and Schiffrin (1986, 1987, 2006),see SIA as bracketing discourse units, continuing discourse units, or signaling a shift between discourse units; and what determines the discourse function of these signaled discourse units is constructed by the interaction of the linguistic properties of and with the discourse context in which it occurs.
Sotirova (2004), using the works of D.H. Lawrence, has argued that SIA, as well as other connectives, are used by Lawrence to signal perspectival shifts in free indirect style (227).
Huttar (2002) has examined the use of both discourse-initial and (DIA) and SIA in poetry. Huttar argues that DIA is often used to establish an imagined context already in progress or imagined prior events from which the present utterance is understood to continue. An extremely common form of DIA is that of a question addressed in response to an implied interlocutor’s statement and often expressing surprise at the previous implied statement.
Cotter (2003) on the other hand examines the use of SIA and SIB in newspapers over a one hundred year period. She used a 100,000-word corpus of newspaper articles - a mixture of local and national syndicated articles, general news, and feature articles - published between 1900 and 1995. Over this period, she noted an increasing occurrence of SIA/B and concurrent decline in temporal connectives. Among other factors, Cotter argues that these connectives help to create local and global coherence in news narratives, introduce new speakers and ideas, and link a series of short paragraphs. Cotter sees this increasing use of SIA/B as indicative of a historical shift from more text-centered to more reader-centered prose.
Dorgeloh (2004) looked at SIA in a corpus of British English made up of LOB (Lancaster-Oslo/Bergen, 1961) and FLOB (Freiburg Lancaster-Oslo/Bergen, 1991). She indicates a decline in the use of SIA in both academic and newspaper writing. From her analysis she concludes that in written Modern English, SIA, where it does occur, marks functional shifts on a more global level of discourse (1777).
From the literature reviewed, it becomes evident that there is prevalence in the use of additive and in academic discourse, prose, conversation, literary texts, newspapers, and in the humanities and social science fields generally. In frequency and function additive and is reckoned to be the most frequently occurring, followed by but; in poetic texts functionally, Huttar argues that and is often used to establish an imagined context already in progress or imagined prior events from which the present utterance is understood to continue while Halliday and Hasan (1976), and Schiffrin (1986, 1987, 2006),regard and as bracketing discourse units, continuing discourse units, or signaling a shift between discourse units.
The subsequent analysis consider to what extent the frequency and functional assertions are based.
This research departs from much of the previous studies, by presenting a functional linguistic analysis which was proffered by Halliday et al. Earlier researches often focus on the frequency with which certain linguistic features occur, yet another description focuses on the functions of those features. Functional descriptions of language — like the one to be adopted here, are more valuable since they offer some understanding of communicative purpose and, thus, explain the use and frequency of linguistic features.
ANALYSIS OF COORDINATION IN TCHICAYA U’TAMSI’S ‘BOWHARP’
In what follows, the text of the poem will be introduced first, then the recognized patterns and instances of coordination will be presented in tables, followed by coordination analysis of the sort of relationship portrayed in the organization of the poems, cohesion and the way they are employed by the poet , so that it would become evident how different image-creating lexical items are linked by coordination and cohesive devices to realize a harmonic whole and consequently produce aesthetic effect.
This study investigates coordination against the backdrop of cohesion by adopting a functional analysis approach, Halliday and Mattiessen (1999). Functional analysis as employed here provides a clear basis on which to relate a literary work to the relevant order of context.
3.1. BOW HARP
like a gendarme’s baton
Pointing the direction
Of the bad road
We are this union
of water salt and earth
of sunshine and flesh
bespattering the sun
no more among the marks
but because there is this song
which ruins all the gulfs
which recreates a genesis
of wind weather and flesh!
of unoxidized steel
or of crossed blood
mixed in the dregs of all surges!
After the red man,
after the black man,
after the yellow man,
after the white man,
There is already the man of bronze
sole alloy of the soft fires
we have still to ford.
Salute to every upright head
In another hour I shall be yapping
I will console with one hand
if they will let me torture with the other
this dying heart
Ah! When the sun is dancing
how fine life is
was water hiding among the algae?
was a blade of that torrid sea
belonging freely to that bestiary
whose men I wished less bloody
less greedy for the black flesh of bear
Words which made a stain of oil
came to me when my burning mouth
left trace of dawn on your brow
I was a maker of dawns
I was a maker of organs andbalafons
for a song suited to every hope
But the ears went to the thresher unprotesting
A curse to the tipsy bird!
What use is yapping?
It is the bow harp
that we must play in this country.
THE BLOOD AT HARVEST
We come to seek
something that we forgot
under the earth
hence this sickness
which seizes us sometimes
whenthe wind mimics
a flamenco guitar
With this channel
running beside the furrow
collecting the blood
whoselubricity consumes the banks
begins an age of agriculture
infinitesimal in scale
and envied me by everyone
woodlice pheasants and nymphs.
god knows what grain to sift
with this sieve which your fingers weave
on my pilloried head
The day is dark enough for the ordeal
our souls and lives have mud enough
if not alluvial
in the bed of yourlabour.
For you to offer a day to the dawn
for me to give a jasper tomb to man!
When I had stolen the fire
I promised my blood to the night
if she would hush this crime
But always there came a drunken dawn
which melted my feet
among the nettles of March
And always I knew I could
restart my destiny
with certain seaweeds gleaned
Along scarcely milky ways
flowing from white sands of dry skeletons
One flesh made my flesh sorrow
One fire made my soul liquid
One wind wished my hands porous
A love scarcely more sweet
than the jew’s death I demand
promised me peace of heart
if I restored the stolen fire
and recovered my blood from the night
What did I dare then
I simply cut my wine
and endured the cold weight of pebbles
on my lips already
pouting with misery!
The singing violin
has not burnt the wind
when a procession of raw bones
snows wildly upon us
A hesitant love
pours nothing over our labors
but an icy shower of gold
the last warm sigh
the earth more ardently
wishing us at rest
within her milkless sides
will lap us with humus.
And if this harp cannot follow me
there where the spirits wait
This is my testament:
I leave you the fire and the song.
Halliday defines conjunction as “a clause or clause complex, or some longer stretch of text, which may be related to what follows it by one or other of a specific set of semantic relations” (310). In the poems, there were 13 notations of additive conjunction ‘and’,4 adversative ‘but’,5 causal ‘for’,1causal ‘because’, 1additive alternative ‘or’,1causal ‘then’,1causal ‘hence’, and 1additive ‘moreover’.
Conjunction as a coordinating device is different in that it does not necessarily create a semantic tie with just one part of the text. Conjunction acts to link meaning across a larger boundary of text. However, in this text, the retrieval of conjunctive information does not require the reader to go back too far in the passage to identify the presupposed reference.
We begin our analysis by identifying the instances of coordination in the collection of poems ‘bowharp’, their functions and contribution within the text .
3.3.2 Monosyndetic Coordination
3.3.3The ‘and’ relation
of water salt and earth (EPITAPH)
of sunshine and flesh (EPITAPH)
of wind weather and flesh! (EPITAPH)
I was a maker of organs and balafons(THE SALUTE)
and envied me by everyone (THE BLOOD AT HARVEST)
woodlice pheasants and nymphs (THE BLOOD AT HARVEST)
our souls and lives have mud enough (THE BLOOD AT HARVEST)
And always I knew I could(RAPT)
and recovered my blood from the night(RAPT)
and endured the cold weight of pebbles(RAPT)
And if this harp cannot follow me(LEGS)
I leave you the fire and the song (LEGS)
In lines (i) ,(ii),(iii),(iv),(vi),(vii),(xiii) we see an additive relation of a paratactic kind, they have sufficient characteristics in common to justify their combination ; ‘water salt’ and ‘earth’, ‘sunshine and flesh’, ‘weather and flesh’, ‘organs and balafons’, ‘woodlice pheasants and nymphs’, ‘souls and lives’, ‘fire and the song’ are presumed to be of the same semantic categories of noun. This enables each coordinated unit to function as a single whole. Constituting a single element in the structure of a larger unit and subscribing to Haspelmath (2000)’s relevant constituency tests for monosyndetic coordination.
Line 5 with its characteristic additive features connects the adverb ‘infinitesimal’ in the previous line with the verb ‘envied’ in the following line .Here we can evidently see the anaphoric relevance that the additive ‘and’ has in relating a previous and later instances of occurrence.
Lines (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii):
Provide us with instances of ideational roles where conjunction ‘and’ coordinates idea units separately; this instance is what Schiffrin (1986, 1987, 2006) calls a “discourse coordinator” role. This indicates an altogether different thought from the preceding.
3.3.4 Sentence Initial But in Poetry
3.3.5. The ‘adversative’ relation
but because there is this song (EPITAPH)
But the ears went to the thresher unprotesting (THE SALUTE)
But always there came a drunken dawn (RAPT)
but an icy shower of gold (LEGS)
Semantically, but denotes a contrast. The contrast may be in the unexpectedness of what is said in the second conjoin in view of the content of the first conjoin. The unexpectedness is usually dependent on our presupposition and our knowledge of the world. However, the contrast may be a restatement in affirmative terms of what has been said or implied negatively in the first conjoins.
In line (xiv), we have a reversed causal relation coming immediately after an adversative, with both creating a ‘tie’ in retrojection to the previous line ‘no more among the marks’ in line( 6) of the original text.
In line (xv), we see an instance of contrast which turns out to be a restatement in affirmation of what was implied in the first conjoins ‘for a song suited to every hope’.
Line (xvi), contrasts the conditional expectation expressed in the first conjoin. ‘If she would hush this crime’ (74) in the actual text.
In Line (xvii), there exists an instance of cohesion, where the first term of comparison ‘pours nothing over our labours’ is denied in order to make room for the second (100).
3.3.6. The ‘causal’ relation
less greedy for the black flesh of bear (THE SALUTE)
for a song suited to every hope(THE SALUTE)
The day is dark enough for the ordeal (THE BLOOD AT HARVEST)
For you to offer a day to the dawn (THE BLOOD AT HARVEST)
forme to give a jasper tomb to man! (THE BLOOD AT HARVEST)
The reversed simple causal relation ‘for’ indicates a cataphoric reference to the sentence that comes after it, but in the instances listed here , they are used as indicating consequences of occurrences based on the sentence that comes before them.
3.3.7. The Temporal Sequential Relation
‘then’ as used by the poet(RAPT: line 90), signify ‘a point in time’ that was made reference to in the previous line. Or elaborately, the said relation in external terms is one of sequence in time; the one is subsequent to the other.
3.3.8.The Emphatic Causal Relation
‘because’ in (EPITAPH: line 6) combines with ‘but’ to indicate reason; it makes a conditional statement indicating a catahporic reference to the ‘song’ as the background reason on which previous meaning is construed.
3.3.9. The Additive Alternative
‘or’ (EPITAPH: line 12) in denoting an alternative is exclusive.It excludes the possibility of realizing either ‘unoxidized steel’ in line (11)/ ‘of crossed blood’ in line (12).
3.3.10. The Causal Relation
As indicated by ‘hence’( THE BLOOD AT HARVEST: line49) occurs in an internal sense to mean some form of reasoning expressed by ‘it follows that’ which connects the premise before it .More as though it forms the background on which some form of conclusion is made in lieu of what comes before it.
3.3.11The Additive Complex Relation
As expressed by ‘moreover’ (THE BLOOD AT HARVEST: line61) is that of reinforcing the preceding in the previous surmise.
Halliday and Hasan (1976) view that lexical cohesion differs from the other cohesive devices of referencing, substitution, ellipsis and conjunction in that it is a non-grammatical function (7) . Through the use of vocabulary, cohesion exists when ties between lexical items can be identified. In the poems ‘BOW HARP’, the presence of cohesive element through the form of reiteration and referencing can be identified . Reiteration refers to the repetition of a lexical item, though the repetition may not exactly match the presupposed lexical item. Reiteration can take the form of repetition of the same word or through the use of a synonym, antonym, metonym, or hyponym. More strikingly, lexical items contribute to creating the context of the poem through their association with each other.
Halliday and Hasan (1976) view that when a previously mentioned item is referred to again and is dependent upon another element, it is considered a tie. Without semantic ties, sentences or utterances would seem to lack any type of relationship to each other and might not be considered text. This intertextual link is referred to as “the presupposing” and “the presupposed” (4). Invariably cohesion creates interdependency in text.
Eggins (1994) argues that referencing functions to retrieve presupposed information in text and must be identifiable for it to be considered as cohesive. In written text, referencing indicates how the writer introduces participants and keeps track of them throughout the text. There are three general types of referencing: homophoric referencing, which refers to shared information through the context of culture, exophoric referencing, which refers to information from the immediate context of situation, and endophoric referencing, which refers to information that can be “retrieved” from within the text (95). It is this endophoric referencing which is the focus of cohesion theory.
Endophoric referencing can be divided into three areas: anaphoric, cataphoric, and esphoric. Anaphoric refers to any reference that “points backwards” to previously mentioned information in text. Cataphoric refers to any reference that “points forward” to information that will be presented later in the text. Esphoric refers to any reference within the same nominal group or phrase which follows the presupposed item. For cohesion purposes, anaphoric referencing is the most relevant as it “provides a link with a preceding portion of the text” (Halliday and Hasan: 51).
The first lexical patterns relate to personal reference; ‘your fingers’ in line 63 refers back to woman in line 61. ‘your’ in line 68 and ‘you’ in line 69 are anaphoric to ‘woman’ in line 61making it easier to connect with previous information. In line 73, ‘she’ is anaphoric to ‘night’ in line 72.
And in line 42 ‘it’ refers cataphorically to ‘bow harp’ within the same line. ‘Her’ in line 108 refers to ‘earth’ in line 106. All the instances cited have aided to create close fits of cohesion in the text.
However there is repetition of lexical elements that helps to add emphasis to their expressiveness. Lines 14-17;
Is continuously repeated(four times) for the effect of emphasis.
While in lines 82-84 we have three instances of;
Creating a vivid and lasting impression of the ‘feelings’ as experienced by the poet on the listener or reader.
FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION
The study of cohesive patterns in poetry enables us to see the means whereby the textual
unity of discourse is maintained. This study explains that the poet has selected two kinds of cohesive devices as contributing to maximum coherence of the poems. One of these is the device of lexical cohesion in terms of reiteration and referencing. The second type is concerned with coordination, adding more discoursal dimensions to the meaning.
Of the analysis carried out in this research, the presence of;and,then,but,for,because,or,hence, moreover, enacting coordinating functions were confirmed, the research limits its scope to the above instances of occurrence. Nevertheless, exceptions in the areas of demonstrative and personal referencing, and other semantic relation of time signaled by such adverbs as when, after andsome linkers that are not generally recognized as coordinators, that are typically treated as linking adverbs (or conjunctional adverbs) exist in the text, functioning to create an enhancing process which though outside the present study, present obvious avenues for further research. Within the text there are several occurring patterns of monosyndetic coordination: A co B, and A B co B, with monosyndesis of the type A co Bbeing the norm. The logically possible type co A B is unattested.
Overall, though conjunction functions extremely well to create cohesion in the text, with central coordinator ‘and’ being most prevalent in the text.
The selected poems of TchicayaU’tamsi ‘bowharp’ are quite replete with syndetic coordination. Textually, the text is difficult to access.
Consequently, the overall combinations of conjunction as a subset of coordination and devices of cohesion have contributed in no small measure to give insight into the poet’s use of language in explicating the themes of the text.
The contextual detachment of a poem results in the creation of an imaginary internal context which is peculiar to that poem. In representing such a context, everything violates common-place conventional order. Although these elements lose their referential stability in real world, they gain their value within the boundary of the poem through their close interrelationship. In other words, every single element, whether linguistic or not, contributes to its total meaning. According to Widdowson (1992), "In denying one kind of regularity, the poem asserts its own"(24).
In this regard, linguistic patterns across all phonological, lexical, grammatical and
graphological levels consistently realize semantic unity of the poem.
More particularly, lexical items contribute to creating the context of the poem through their association with each other. Viewed otherwise, the value of every lexical item cannot be specified without referring to its neighboring words.
Among all linguistic devices reckoned as contributing to maximal cohesion of a
poetic text, lexical patterns appear to play a considerably important role.
Every lexical item, according to Cummings and Simmons (1983), contributes to produce
images in poetry, either directly or otherwise. Once an image has been established in a poem, all lexical items in the poem may probably be applied to it by extending their meaning metaphorically. Even those lexical items which seems unrelated to the established images can be attributed the role of creating more images for the purpose of making the experience of the poem more complex. In this regard, strings of related lexis in a poem can help the reader to understand how the poem creates and coordinates different levels of imagery, in order to convey the sense of an experience.
Conclusively, coordination connects the various units of the text into a harmonious and cohesive
Ash Asudeh and Richard Crouch. (2002). “Coordination and Parallelism in Glue Semantics”: Integrating Discourse Cohesion and the Element Constraint. Athens. CSLI Publications.
Bloomfield, Leonard. (1933). Language. New York: Henry Holt and Co.
Bloor, T. and Bloor, M. (1995).The Functional Analysis of English. London, New York: Arnold.
Carter, R. (1999). Seeing Through Language: A Guide to Styles of English Writing. Blackwell, Oxford.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, ©1997 Gale Cengage.
Corbett, E.P.J. (1971). Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student: New York: OUP.
Cotter, Colleen. (2003). Prescriptions and practice: Motivations behind changes in news discourse. Journal of Historical Pragmatics Vol. 4.1: 45-74.
Cummings, M. and Simmons, R. (1983). The Language of Literature. London: Penguin.
Dickens, James.(2009). “Junction in English and Arabic: Syntactic, Discoursal and Denotative Features” In Journal of PragmaticsVol. 42: 1076-1136.
Dorgeloh, Heidrun. (2004). Conjunction in sentence and discourse: Sentence Initial Andand Discourse structure. Journal of Pragmatics Vol 36.10: 1761-1779.
Eggins, Suzanne. (1994). An Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics London: Pinter.
Geoffrey, Leech and M. Short. (1981). Style in Fiction. London and New York: Longman.
Gleitman, Lila. (1965). Coordinating Conjunctions in English. Language. Vol. 41.260-293.
Halliday, M.A.K. and Hasan, R. (1976). Cohesion in English. London: Longman.
Halliday, M.A.K. (1994). Introduction to Functional Grammar London, New York, etc.: Arnold.
Haspelmath, Martin. (2000). Coordination. Language typology and linguistic description, 2nd edition, ed. by Timothy Shopen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Huttar, Charles A. (2002). Introductory And as a Device in Poetry-Making. Philological Quarterly Vol.81.2:139-57.
Lakoff, Robin. (1971) "If's, And's, and But's about Conjunctions." in Studies in Linguistic Semantics. Charles J. Fillmore and D. Terence Langendoen (eds.), New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston.
Martin, Jim R. (1983) "Conjunction: The Logic of English Text." in Micro and Macro Connexity of Texts. J. S. Petofi and E. Sozer (eds.). Hamburg: Helmut Buske.
Miller, Cynthia. (2007). “The Relation of coordination to verb Gapping in Biblical Poetry”JSOT Vol.32.1.
Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech and Jan Svartvik. (1972). A Grammar of Contemporary English. London. Longman.
Ramm, W. and Fabricius-Hansen, C.(2005). Coordination and discourse-structural salience from a cross-linguistic perspective. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on Multidisciplinary Approaches to Discourse (MAD'05) 'Salience in Discourse', Chorin, Germany.
Schiffrin, Deborah. (1986). Functions of “and” in discourse. Journal of Pragmatics 10: 41-66.
Schiffrin, Deborah. (1987). Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schiffrin, Deborah. (2006). Discourse marker research and theory: Revisiting and. In Kerstin Fischer (ed.), Approaches to Discourse Particles. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Scott, Drellishak (2004). “A Survey of Coordination Strategies in the World’s Languages”: A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts University of Washington.
Sotirova, Violeta. (2004).Connectives in Free Indirect Style: Continuity or Shift? Language and Literature Vol. 13.3: 216-234.
Widdowson, H.G. (1992). Practical Stylistics: An Approach to Poetry. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Yuasa, Etsuyo and Sadock, Jerry M. (2002).Pseudo-Subordination: A Mismatch between Syntax and Semantics. Journal of Linguistics Vol. 38.1:87-111.
If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal: