Toward a Grammar of Passages

Toward a Grammar of Passages

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a€œThe mature writer is recognized ... by his ability to create a flow of sentences, a pattern of thought that is produced, one suspects, according to the principles of yet another kind of grammara€”a grammar, let us say, of passages.a€a€”Mina Shaughnessy Richard M. Coe has developed such a a€œgrammar, a€ one which uses a simple graphic instrument to analyze the meaningful relationships between sentences in a passage and to clarify the function of structure in discourse. Working in the tradition of Christensena€™s generative rhetoric, Coe presents a two-dimensional graphic matrix that effectively analyzes the logical relations between statements by mapping coordinate, subordinate, and superordinate relationships. Coe demonstrates the power of his discourse matrix by applying it to a variety of significant problems, such as how to demonstrate discourse differences between cultures (especially between Chinese and English), how to explain precisely what is a€œbada€ about the structure of passages that do not work, and how best to teach structure. This new view of the structure of passages helps to articulate crucial questions about the relations between form and function, language, thought and culture, cognitive and social processes.... Wittea#39;s figure illustrating topical structure analysis of the following passage with a matrix diagram of the same passage. ... (12) At other times, I dream that I will someday own my own fleet of shrimp boats or be able to ski like Phil Mahre.

Title:Toward a Grammar of Passages
Author:Richard M. Coe, Richard H. Coe, Conference on College Composition and Communication (U.S.)
Publisher:SIU Press - 1988


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