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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

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Volume 36, Issue 1


The impact of recurrent propositions on readers’ perceptions of gist: A study of hard news

Li Yuan ke
  • Corresponding author
  • School of Foreign Studies, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, 510631, People’s Republic of China
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Published Online: 2016-03-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2016-0004


Employing a systemic functional approach to the analysis of cohesive elements, this paper investigates the impact of recurrent propositions in texts on readers’ perceptions of their gist in a study of hard news and their summaries written by competent readers. The results show that the number of times propositions recur in news does not correspond to readers’ perceptions of their degrees of importance to the gist of news in which they occur, pointing to the limited role of repetition in identifying important propositions. This study also shows that two factors, namely the textual positions of propositions occurring in news, and the relationships between different propositions, played an important part when readers examined whether propositions were important to the gist of news in which they occur. The study complements the corpus-driven approaches to phraseology by extending the scope of phraseological combinations to include paraphrases and other semantic relations in the identification of identical and similar propositions recurring in individual texts.

Keywords: cohesion; summary; proposition; phraseology; nuclei; hard news


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About the article

Li Yuan ke

Li Yuan ke received his PhD in applied linguistics from the University of Liverpool and is currently Associate Professor in South China Normal University. His research interests include systemic functional grammar, corpus linguistics and discourse analysis. His most recent book-length publication is Cohesion in Text and Text Aboutness (2012, Sun Yat-sen University Press).

Published Online: 2016-03-09

Published in Print: 2016-01-01

Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 36, Issue 1, Pages 67–87, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2016-0004.

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