As we have discussed in the class, if we speak of Text as Connected Discourse, we will be dragging in two interrelated concepts – the text and the discourse. The understanding of the text requires an understanding of the discourse. As defined, discourse is the expression of ideas that a person can think of. I want that pair of shoes as a sample sentence gives us an idea that someone wants a particular pair of shoes; this idea is considered a discourse. In addition, the ideas in discourse may spark responses or may provoke an action.
In terms of text, it refers to the sum of the discourses. When we link the discourses together, it makes up a large unit of written language we call a text. A text shall have the following characteristics (M. Jorgensen & L. Phillips, 2002):
- Cohesion – the connection of ideas at the sentence level.
- Coherence – the connection of ideas at the paragraph level.
- Intentionality – dwells into the purpose of the author/writer.
- Informativity – the quantity of new information in the text.
- Acceptability – how factual the pieces of information are.
- Situationality – the socio-cultural appropriateness of the text. Is it appropriate or acceptable to the target reader?
- Intertextuality – the connection of the succeeding discourse to the previous one. It also talks about the existence of the succeeding text because of the previous one.
It is focused on how the ideas are being connected in a certain phrase or sentence. Whatever idea the writer tries to express shall be distinguished by the use of words. For example, if the writer wants to express a cause and effect in a sentence, he might use the word because.
It is concerned with how the sentences and paragraphs are linked together that they would express a single idea. This is achieved when the writer uses cohesive devices to link the ideas together or to signal whether he is continuing, opposing, or moving on from the idea of the previous sentence or paragraph. Cohesive devices such as furthermore, in addition, secondly, moreover, and etc. connote that the writer is supporting or continuing the previous claim or idea.
Intentionality as a characteristic of a text answers the question: What is the purpose of the writer in writing the text? A text must be written with a purpose whether that is to inform, persuade, or entertain. In some cases, a text is written to criticize or just to express one’s opinion. When a text has a purpose, intentionality is achieved.
This quality of the text focuses on the amount of new information embedded on it. A text is written to provide new information or perspective not a duplication of an already-known concept. A writer shall make sure that what he/she is writing is not common knowledge to all.
Are the things you are writing acceptable? Acceptability refers to the veracity of the information provided. How true the information or ideas expressed? The text shall be accepted by a group or a number of people especially that of the academic community. It is achieved when it underwent rigorous vetting.
This simply refers to the socio-cultural appropriateness of the text. The content of the text shall not be offensive to any race, sex, religion, etc. A text shall always conform to the situation.
Why an answer exists? Intertextuality refers to the way you understand the succeeding discourse because of the way you interpret the preceding one. Intertextuality is the idea that a text exists because of another text or an event. For example, you cannot write an editorial about COVID-19 if when, in the first place, COVID-19 does not exist. In poetry, the The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd would have not been written without the The Passionate Shepher to His Love since it is the reply to the latter. You cannot reply to something that doesn’t exist, right? The final example, a movie adaptation of a novel is a perfect example of intertextuality.