Processing of Cohesive ties By EFL Arab College Students

59 EFL college students took a cohesion test in which they identified four types of cohesive ties in a reading text. Incorrect responses were analyzed. It was found that substitution was the most difficult to process followed by reference and ellipsis, whereas conjunction was the easiest. In resolving the cohesion relationships, the students used the following faulty strategies: an anaphor was associated with the closest noun whether intersentential or intrasentential. When preceded by two potential antecedents, an anaphor was associated with the farther antecedent if it was saliant or more familiar; an anaphor was associated with a synonym. In addition the students matched an anaphor with a word that is identical in pronunciation or punctuation. It was found that cohesion anomalies were caused by poor linguistic competence, especially poor syntactic and semantic awareness, and poor or inaccurate knowledge of the cohesion rules.

Prof. Reima Al-jarf
King Saud University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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