Workshop 4 - New horizons in cohesion studies: Widening the angle



Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer (LMU Munich) & Christoph Schubert (University of Vechta)


Workshop description

The concept of cohesion has been a central issue in text linguistics and discourse analysis since the 1970s. Established within the theoretical framework of systemic functional linguistics (Halliday and Hasan 1976), cohesion covers the discernible lexical and grammatical ties that establish semantic connections between portions of a text, whereas coherence refers to the cognitive construction of discursive relations by a text’s recipients. In recent years, individual studies have explored diverse issues in the field, such as cohesion in specific genres (cf. e.g. Hoffmann 2012 on weblogs; Janney 2010 and Tseng 2013 on film discourse), cohesion across registers and varieties (e.g. Neumann and Fest 2016), contrastive cohesion (e.g. Klein 2012), cohesion in non-linear digital discourse (e.g. Schmolz 2015; Schubert 2017), lexical cohesion and corpus linguistics (e.g. Flowerdew and Mahlberg 2009), and the collaborative relationship between lexical cohesion and coherence (e.g. Tanskanen 2006).

This workshop intends to further elaborate on various avenues in the study of cohesion, thereby highlighting a number of issues that are so far underresearched in this field. Our aim is to demonstrate that cohesion is a multifaceted discursive phenomenon that offers numerous research opportunities at the interface of text analysis and related linguistic (sub-)disciplines. Accordingly, we invite contributions on

  • corpus-based approaches, which focus on the quantification of cohesive ties and may employ a scalar notion of cohesive density to discuss the resulting two poles of tight and loose texture;
  • cross- and multimodal cohesion, which is based on the text-creating function of words and images in diverse media and explores the relation between different modes;
  • contrastive text linguistics, which investigates differences in the realization and distribution of cohesive ties across languages and translations;
  • hypertextual cohesion, which does not rely on a linear and sequential text but operates across textual nodes and hyperlinks;
  • register-based approaches, which examine differences in cohesion across functional varieties of a  language, such as academic papers, informal conversations, bedtime stories or political speeches;
  • the exploration of any means which can be argued to bring about cohesion but are not discussed by Halliday and Hasan (1976), e.g. rhyme, metre, parallelism, tense, aspect and paraphrases (cf. Schubert 2012).

We welcome papers on methodological and theoretical aspects as well as applied-linguistic case studies along any of these research trajectories.


Flowerdew, John and Michaela Mahlberg (eds.) (2009). Lexical Cohesion and Corpus Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Halliday, Michael A. K. and Ruqaiya Hasan (1976). Cohesion in English. London: Longman.
Hoffmann, Christian R. (2012). Cohesive Profiling: Meaning and Interaction in Personal Weblogs. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Janney, Richard W. (2010) “Film Discourse Cohesion.” In: Christian R. Hoffmann (ed.). Narrative Revisited: Telling a Story in the Age of New Media. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 245–265.
Klein, Yvonne (2012). “Cohesion in English and German.” In: Silvia Hansen-Schirra, Stella Neumann and Erich Steiner (eds.). Cross-Linguistic Corpora for the Study of Translations: Insights from the Language Pair English-German. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 161–172.
Neumann, Stella and Jennifer Fest (2016). “Cohesive Devices across Registers and Varieties: The Role of Medium in English.” In: Christoph Schubert and Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer (eds.). Variational Text Linguistics: Revisiting Register in English. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 195–220.
Schmolz, Helene (2015). Anaphora Resolution and Text Retrieval: A Linguistic Analysis of Hypertexts. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
Schubert, Christoph (2012). Englische Textlinguistik: Eine Einführung. Berlin: Erich Schmidt.
Schubert, Christoph (2017). “Discourse and Cohesion.” In: Christian R. Hoffmann and Wolfram Bublitz (eds.). Handbooks of Pragmatics (HOPS). Vol. 11: Pragmatics of Social Media. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 317–344.
Tanskanen, Sanna-Kaisa (2006). Collaborating towards Coherence: Lexical Cohesion in English Discourse. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Tseng, Chiao-I. (2013). Cohesion in Film: Tracking Film Elements. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.


Workshop papers:

Cohesion through Word Formation: Exploring the Level of Sublexical Cohesive Ties
Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer (LMU Munich)

Where to Draw the Line when the Lines are Blurred: A Computational and Functional Analysis of Cohesion in Comics
Paul Gahman (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

Multimodal Cohesion in Online Newspaper Articles about Migration
Helene Schmolz (University of Passau)

Lexical Hypercohesion on YouTube
Sanna-Kaisa Tanskanen (University of Helsinki)

In the Ear of the Beholder? Genre, Framing and Cohesion in Film Trailers
Christian R. Hoffmann (University of Augsburg)

Multimodal Cohesion, Narrative Interpretation and Empirical Foundations
Chiao-I Tseng (University of Bremen)