It is increasingly clear that, in order to understand language as a phenomenon, we must understand the phenomenon of text. Our primary experience of language comes in the form of texts, which embody the complete communicative events through which our language-using lives are lived. These events are shaped by communicative needs, and this shaping is reflected in certain characteristic patterns in the texts. However, the nature of texts and text is still elusive: we know which forms are typically found in text but we do not yet have a full grasp of how they constitute its textuality, how they make a text “tick”. The twelve contributions to this volume show how texts across a wide range of text types hold together by different patterns of chunking and linking. The common purpose in all the contributions is to explore the nature of text patterning as the functional environment within which language operates.
Table of contents
Introduction: Why ‘patterns of text’?
Colligation, lexis, pattern, and text
Lexical signals of word relations
Patterns of cohesion in spoken text
Susan Thompson and Geoff Thompson
Issues in modelling the textual metafunction
Peter H. Fries
Mapping key words to problem and solution
The negotiation of evaluation in written text
Some discourse patterns and signalling of theassessment-basis relation
Michael P. Jordan
Repeat after me: The role of repetition in the life of an emergent reader