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date: 27 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines the conditions for coherence of informative discourses. It reviews a number of factors that seem to influence the degree of coherence of such non-narrative discourses, such as degree of relevance, informativeness, and meaning salience, but not cohesion. The requirements for discourse coherence are not linguistic but cognitive and should apply to nonverbal discourses as well. And although verbal discourses unfold linearly, they are represented hierarchically, in terms of prototype category, so that each incoming proposition is weighed against the category (common) features—the discourse topic proposition—in terms of similarity (relevance) and graded informativeness. Overt violations of these requirements aim to induce pleasure, convey emotions, and challenge norms of powerful groups while attempting to bring about social change.

Keywords: Coherence, cohesion, relevance, graded informativeness, hierarchical representation, prototype category, discourse topic, social change

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