UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

English teachers’ perceptions of coherence Foster, Daniel George 1983

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ENGLISH TEACHERS' PERCEPTIONS OF COHERENCE By DANIEL GEORGE FOSTER B.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1980 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of English) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January 1983 ( c \ D a n i e l George F o s t e r In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date DE-6 (3/81) A b s t r a c t F r e s h m a n e s s a y s w r i t t e n i n a n e x a m s i t u a t i o n a n d h o l i s t i c a l l y s c o r e d f o r c o h e r e n c e b y t e a c h e r s o f E n g l i s h 1 0 0 , u n t r a i n e d f o r t h i s p a r t i c u l a r p r o j e c t , w e r e a n a l y s e d f o r a v a r i e t y o f f e a t u r e s . T h e p u r p o s e o f t h i s a n a l y s i s w a s t o d i s c o v e r w h a t f e a t u r e s t h e s e r e a d e r s w e r e i n f a c t r e s p o n d i n g t o w h e n a s k e d t o r e s p o n d t o c o h e r e n c e p r o b l e m s . T h e l a c k o f t r a i n i n g r e s u l t e d i n w i d e l y d i v e r g e n t h o l i s t i c s c o r e s ( t h e i n t e r - r a t e r r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t w a s . 5 2 ) , i n d i c a t i n g t h a t t h e r e a d e r s w e r e n o t r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e s a m e a s p e c t s o f t h e e s s a y s . B e c a u s e o f t h i s d i v e r g e n c e , a w i d e v a r i e t y o f f e a t u r e s w e r e t e s t e d f o r , i n c l u d i n g s o m e u n l i k e l y t o b e d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o c o h e r e n c e . T h e f o l l o w i n g s e v e n t e e n f e a t u r e s w e r e t e s t e d : s t y l i s t i c f e a t u r e s — w o r d s p e r T - u n i t , w o r d s p e r c l a u s e , c l a u s e s p e r T - u n i t , p e r c e n t a g e o f w o r d s i n f i n a l f r e e m o d i f i e r s , a n d p e r c e n t a g e o f T - u n i t s c o n t a i n i n g f i n a l f r e e m o d i f i e r s ; d i s c o u r s e t h e o r y a n d s e m a n t i c f e a t u r e s — r a t i o o f i n f e r r e d t o e x p l i c i t p r o p o s i t i o n s , v i o l a t i o n s o f t h e g i v e n / n e w c o n t r a c t p e r h u n d r e d w o r d s , d e i c t i c t i e s p e r h u n d r e d w o r d s , r a t i o o f s p e c i f i c t o g e n e r a l n o u n s , s e m a n t i c a l l y a n o m a l o u s s e n t e n c e s p e r e s s a y , a n d o r g a n i z a t i o n s c o r e ; t r a d i t i o n a l c o m p o s i t i o n h a n d b o o k c o n c e r n s — o c c u r r e n c e s o f " t o b e " a s m a i n v e r b , p a s s i v e c o n s t r u c t i o n s p e r T - u n i t , a n d p e r c e n t a g e o f t o t a l w o r d s i n n o m i n a l c o n t r u c t i o n s ; p h y s i c a l f e a t u r e s — - w o r d s p e r e s s a y , p a r a g r a p h s p e r e s s a y , a n d w o r d s p e r p a r a g r a p h . T h e s e f e a t u r e s w e r e c o r r e l a t e d w i t h t h e h o l i s t i c s c o r e s b y c o m p u t e r . T h e r e s u l t s o f t h i s a n a l y s i s i n d i c a t e t h a t , f o r t h e m o s t p a r t , t h e r e a d e r s d i d n o t r e s p o n d t o f e a t u r e s w h i c h m i g h t b e e x p e c t e d t o r e l a t e d i r e c t l y t o c o h e r e n c e b u t r a t h e r t o n o m i n a l i z a t i o n r a t e a n d c l a u s e l e n g t h . T h e l a c k o f a g r e e m e n t f o u n d a m o n g r e a d e r s f u r t h e r i n d i c a t e s t h e l a c k o f a s t r o n g l y s h a r e d , i m p l i c i t n o t i o n o f w h a t c o n s t i t u t e s c o h e r e n c e . S u p e r v i s o r i v Table of Contents Abstract i i L i s t of Tables v Acknowledgement v i 1. Introduction 1 2. Review of discourse theory l i t e r a t u r e 3 3. Review of composition theory l i t e r a t u r e 23 4. Point of departure 34 5. Aim 42 6. Procedures 45 7. Results 51 7.1. Analysis of scoring and marking 51 7.2. Feature/score correlations 58 7.2.1. Physical features 61 7.2.2. S t y l i s t i c features 65 7.2.3. Coherence features 77 8. Conclusions 87 9. Implications 91 Notes 98 References 104 V L i s t of Tables Table 1 Correlations between scores and coherence 52 errors i d e n t i f i e d by readers Table 2 Correlations between scores and coherence 53 errors agreed on by more than one reader Table 3 Correlations between scores and coherence 55 errors i d e n t i f i e d by both readers of a pair Table 4 Correlations between scores and coherence 56 errors i d e n t i f i e d by one or more readers of a pair or t r i o Table 5 Correlations between readers for 48 and 58 (15) essays Table 6 Correlations between physical features and 63 scores Table 7 Correlations between indices of syntactic 69 maturity and scores Table 8 Correlations between handbook instructions 75 on style and scores Table 9 Correlations between coherence features 78 and scores v i A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t T h a n k s a r e d u e t o my s u p e r v i s o r o n t h i s p r o j e c t , A n d r e a L u n s f o r d , a n d t h e o t h e r r e a d e r s , F r a n c i s J a m e s a n d N a n J o h n s o n . F r a n k F l y n n , w h o d i r e c t e d my e f f o r t s o n t h e c o m p u t e r , T o m M o u a t , w h o a i d e d me w i t h w o r d - p r o c e s s i n g , a n d A m a n d a K i n g , w h o p r o o f r e a d t h e t h e s i s a l s o d e s e r v e t h a n k s . I w o u l d f u r t h e r l i k e t o t a k e t h i s o p p o r t u n i t y t o g r a t e f u l l y a c k n o w l e d g e t h e s u p p o r t p r o v i d e d b y f a m i l y a n d f r i e n d s d u r i n g my t i m e a t s c h o o l . 1 1. Introduction In 1963, Braddock, Lloyd-Jones, and Schoer published a report, Research i n Written Composition (1963), lamenting the inadequate state of current composition research, but also describing f i v e well-founded projects and c i t i n g many more. Also included i n the report i s a great deal of advice for prospective researchers. F i f t e e n years l a t e r , much of the advice had s t i l l not been acted upon when Cooper and Odell, introducing a c o l l e c t i o n of essays e n t i t l e d Research  on Composing: Points of Departure (1978) repeat the lament. This time, however, the c r i t i c i s m deals with the lack of a s p e c i f i c type of research. Too much emphasis has been placed on pedagogical research, they claim, and we assume we know what s k i l l s need to be taught. Far from simply discovering how to teach better the s k i l l s we assume need teaching, we must determine (1) what i s meant by competence in writing, (2) how thi s competence i s defined by actual writing, (3) what the formal features of successful written discourse are, and (4) how successful writers actually write ( x i i ) . Examples of s k i l l s assumed needed by composition 2 t e a c h e r s , b u t n o t s h o w n t o b e i m p o r t a n t b y e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h , i n c l u d e c e r t a i n m o d e s o f p a r a g r a p h d e v e l o p m e n t a n d t h e u s e o f t o p i c s e n t e n c e s . F u r t h e r m o r e , C o o p e r a n d O d e l l q u e s t i o n d e m a n d i n g o u t l i n e s p r i o r t o f i r s t d r a f t s , a s p r o f e s s i o n a l w r i t e r s f r e q u e n t l y d o n o t u s e t h e m . I n " T e a c h e r s o f c o m p o s i t i o n a n d n e e d e d r e s e a r c h i n d i s c o u r s e t h e o r y , " O d e l l ( 1 9 7 9 ) c o n t i n u e s t o c a l l f o r e m p i r i c a l t e s t i n g o f d i s c o u r s e t h e o r y a g a i n s t t h e a c t u a l p e r f o r m a n c e o f w r i t e r s o f d i v e r s e a b i l i t i e s . E m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h o f t h i s t y p e i s s c a n t i n c o m p o s i t i o n t h e o r y . M y p r o j e c t i s a p r e l i m i n a r y a t t e m p t t o i d e n t i f y f e a t u r e s t h a t E n g l i s h t e a c h e r s r e p o n d t o w h e n m a r k i n g s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r c o h e r e n c e , o n e o f t h e a s p e c t s o f w r i t t e n c o m p o s i t i o n i d e n t i f i e d b y O d e l l ( 1 9 8 1 ) a s c r u c i a l f o r m i n i m a l c o m p e t e n c e i n w r i t i n g . M u c h o f t h e p a s t d e c a d e ' s w o r k i n d i s c o u r s e t h e o r y h a s e s c a p e d t h e n o t i c e o f c o m p o s i t i o n t h e o r i s t s , w h i l e t h e d i s c o u r s e t h e o r i s t s t h e m s e l v e s h a v e n o t a p p l i e d t h e i r t h e o r i e s t o w r i t t e n c o m p o s i t i o n . M y b e l i e f i s t h a t m a n y o f t h e p r o b l e m s f a c i n g t e a c h e r s o f c o m p o s i t i o n h a v e p o t e n t i a l s o l u t i o n s i n a p p l i c a t i o n s f r o m w o r k i n d i s c o u r s e t h e o r y . 3 2 . R e v i e w o f d i s c o u r s e t h e o r y l i t e r a t u r e R e s e a r c h c o n c e r n i n g t h e s t r u c t u r e o f d i s c o u r s e h a s b e e n u n d e r w a y f o r a p p r o x i m a t e l y t h i r t y y e a r s , s i n c e t h e a p p e a r a n c e o f H a r r i s ' ( 1 9 5 2 ) a t t e m p t t o t r a c e e q u i v a l e n c e c l a s s e s ( c l a s s e s o f w o r d s t h a t c o u l d g r a m m a t i c a l l y a p p e a r i n a p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n i n a s e n t e n c e ) a n d t h u s g e n e r a l i z e a b o u t d i s c o u r s e t y p e s . G e n e r a l l y , t h i s r e s e a r c h c a n b e d i v i d e d i n t o t h r e e m a i n s t r a n d s : a t t e m p t s a t s y n t a c t i c c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t e x t s , a t t e m p t s a t s e m a n t i c c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s , a n d a t t e m p t s a t t e s t i n g t h e s e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y . T h e f i r s t s t r a n d , i n t o w h i c h H a r r i s 1 w o r k f i t s , i s i n t e r e s t i n g l a r g e l y b e c a u s e o f i t s f a i l u r e t o p r o d u c e s t r o n g c l a i m s a b o u t t e x t s t r u c t u r e . F u r t h e r w o r k i n t h e s y n t a c t i c c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t e x t s i n c l u d e d t h a t o f P i k e ( 1 9 5 4 ) w h o a r g u e s t h a t a l l h u m a n e x p e r i e n c e i s s t r u c t u r e d , a n d t h a t t h i s s t r u c t u r e i s m a n i f e s t e d i n l a n g u a g e a s g r a m m a r , b o t h w i t h i n a n d o u t s i d e t h e s e n t e n c e . P i k e d e v e l o p e d t h e n o t i o n o f t h e t a g m e m e , t h e c l a s s o f g r a m m a t i c a l f o r m s t h a t f u n c t i o n i n a p a r t i c u l a r g r a m m a t i c a l r e l a t i o n . T h e g r a m m a t i c a l r e l a t i o n s u b j e c t , f o r 4 e x a m p l e , m a y b e e x p r e s s e d b y t h e g r a m m a t i c a l f o r m s n o u n p h r a s e , p r o n o u n , o r n o m i n a l i z e d v e r b , a m o n g o t h e r p o s s i b i l i t i e s . P i k e ' s w o r k h a s m o r e r e c e n t l y b e e n a p p l i e d t o t h e t e a c h i n g o f c o m p o s i t i o n i n R h e t o r i c : D i s c o v e r y a n d  C h a n g e ( Y o u n g , B e c k e r a n d P i k e 1970) . I n t h i s w o r k , t h e a u t h o r s d e v e l o p t h e n o t i o n o f t h e l e x i c a l c h a i n , a g r o u p o f r e l a t e d w o r d s o c c u r r i n g i n s e n t e n c e s t h r o u g h o u t t h e p a r a g r a p h , b i n d i n g t h e p a r a g r a p h t o g e t h e r t h r o u g h t h e c o n t i n u i t y o f t o p i c . T h i s w o r k a n d a n e a r l i e r a r t i c l e b y B e c k e r (1965) a p p e a r t o b e t h e o n l y o n e s t o h a v e r e l a t e d g r a m m a t i c a l c o n c e r n s t o d i s c o u r s e i n a n y s o r t o f t e s t a b l e w a y . B e c k e r m a i n t a i n s t h a t e x p o s i t o r y p a r a g r a p h s u s u a l l y c o n s i s t o f t o p i c / r e s t r i c t i o n / i l l u s t r a t i o n o r p r o b l e m / s o l u t i o n . T h e s h i f t f r o m t o p i c t o i l l u s t r a t i o n m i g h t b e a c c o m p a n i e d b y a s h i f t i n t h e a g e n t o f t o p i c t o a n o b j e c t i n i l l u s t r a t i o n o r b y s h i f t s i n t e n s e o r o t h e r a s p e c t s o f g r a m m a t i c a l s t r u c t u r e . O t h e r r e c e n t a t t e m p t s a t s y n t a c t i c c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s o f d i s c o u r s e i n c l u d e t h a t o f E d w i n W i l l i a m s (1977) w h o , i n h i s w o r k o n a g e n e r a t i v e g r a m m a r o f d i s c o u r s e , d i s t i n g u i s h e d b e t w e e n d i s c o u r s e g r a m m a r r u l e s , d i s c o u r s e - c o n d i t i o n e d s e n t e n c e g r a m m a r r u l e s , a n d s t r i c t s e n t e n c e g r a m m a r r u l e s . H u r t i g (1977) a l s o n o t e s t h a t s o m e s e n t e n c e g r a m m a r r u l e s a r e c o n d i t i o n e d b y d i s c o u r s e , t h o u g h h e q u e s t i o n s w h e t h e r t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f d i s c o u r s e s i s g r a m m a t i c a l . T h e q u e s t i o n 5 o f w h e t h e r d i s c o u r s e o r g a n i z a t i o n i s g r a m m a t i c a l o r n o t i s r e a l l y a q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r o r n o t d i s c o u r s e s a n d s e n t e n c e s a r e o r g a n i z e d b y t h e s a m e p r i n c i p l e s . I f t h e y a r e , t h e n p r e s u m a b l y t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l - g e n e r a t i v e ( h e r e a f t e r r e f e r r e d t o a s T G ) g r a m m a r i a n s s h o u l d b e a b l e t o d i s c o v e r u n d e r l y i n g s t r u c t u r e s f o r d i s c o u r s e t h a t a r e m o r e t h a n s i m p l y t h e c o n j u n c t i o n o f a n u m b e r o f u n d e r l y i n g s e n t e n c e s t r u c t u r e s . W i l l i a m s ' d i s c o v e r y t h a t p r o n o m i n a l i z a t i o n c a n n o t b e e x p l a i n e d w i t h o u t r e f e r e n c e t o t h e d i s c o u r s e c o n t e x t d o e s n o t c o n s t i t u t e e v i d e n c e o f s u c h u n d e r l y i n g s y n t a c t i c s t r u c t u r e . I t i s e q u a l l y p o s s i b l e l o g i c a l l y t h a t t h e p r i n c i p l e s o r g a n i z i n g d i s c o u r s e o v e r l a y t h e p r o n o u n s o n t o t h e s y n t a c t i c s t r u c t u r e a n d t h a t p r o n o u n s a n d p r o n o u n r e f e r e n c e h a v e n o t h i n g t o d o w i t h s y n t a x . O v e r a l l , s y n t a c t i c s t u d i e s o f d i s c o u r s e a p p e a r t o h a v e y i e l d e d l i t t l e . E a r l y w o r k i n l i n g u i s t i c s e m a n t i c s i s n o m o r e e n l i g h t e n i n g i n i t s t r e a t m e n t o f d i s c o u r s e t h a n t h e s y n t a c t i c a p p r o a c h e s h a v e b e e n . K a t z a n d F o d o r ( 1 9 6 3 ) i n t h e f i r s t m a j o r w o r k o n s e m a n t i c s i n t h e g e n e r a t i v e f r a m e w o r k , c l a i m t h a t a t h e o r y o f d i s c o u r s e s e t t i n g i s u n n e c e s s a r y i n a s e m a n t i c t h e o r y b e c a u s e , " e x c e p t f o r a f e w t y p e s o f c a s e s ( w h i c h t h e y l e a v e u n s p e c i f i e d ) , d i s c o u r s e c a n b e t r e a t e d a s a s i n g l e s e n t e n c e i n i s o l a t i o n b y r e g a r d i n g s e n t e n c e b o u n d a r i e s a s s e n t e n t i a l c o n n e c t i v e s " ( 4 8 4 ) . I n 6 fact, t h e i r rules for semantic interpretation of sentences proved inadequate, and i t appears that no one ever t r i e d to extend t h e i r analysis beyond the sentence. In any case, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g that early generative grammarians would have avoided working with discourse i n view of Chomsky's attack on the American S t r u c t u r a l i s t s ' p r i n c i p l e of the s t r i c t separation of l e v e l s . Chomsky argues at length i n Syntactic  Structures (1957) that not only could higher levels of structure not be described i n terms of lower levels (morphemes could not be completely described i n terms of phonemes and sentences could not be completely described i n terms of morphemes), but also that the study of higher l e v e l s often gives the l i n g u i s t i n sight into the lower l e v e l s . Katz and Fodor are maintaining that s t r i c t separation of levels by refusing to deal with the discourse settings of sentences. Later TG theorists attempted to deal with the notions of "focus" and "presupposition" (similar to "given information" and "new information" which w i l l be dealt with i n d e t a i l below) at the l e v e l of the sentence. Akmajian (1973) studies the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p of focusing stress (stress applied at the beginning of a sentence to signal focus on an element, or, i n other terms, the newness of information), and the semantic interpretation of anaphoric " i t , " a pronoun s i g n a l l i n g old information. Jacobs (1969) 7 i n d e a l i n g w i t h t h e T G q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r o r n o t t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s a r e m e a n i n g p r e s e r v i n g , n o t e s t h a t s o m e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s , i n c l u d i n g n o m i n a l i z a t i o n , c l e f t i n g , a n d e x t r a p o s i t i o n a l t e r t h e f o c u s a n d p r e s u p p o s i t i o n i n s e n t e n c e s o r t h e a r r a n g e m e n t o f g i v e n a n d n e w i n f o r m a t i o n . A n u m b e r o f o t h e r T G a t t a c k s o n f o c u s a n d p r e s u p p o s i t i o n h a v e b e e n l a u n c h e d , " ' " b u t a l l o f t h e m t r y t o t r e a t t h e q u e s t i o n s t r i c t l y a t t h e s e n t e n c e l e v e l . I n t r e a t i n g t h e s e m a t t e r s a t t h e s e n t e n c e l e v e l , T G g r a m m a r i a n s h a v e m i s s e d s o m e v e r y i m p o r t a n t n o t i o n s , m o s t i m p o r t a n t l y t h a t o f t h e m o t i v a t i o n f o r f o c u s i n g i n f o r m a t i o n o r o f t r e a t i n g i t a s p r e s u p p o s e d . E v e n f o r a c o m p e t e n c e m o d e l o f l a n g u a g e we n e e d t o b e a b l e t o d e t e r m i n e t h e c o n d i t i o n s u n d e r w h i c h s p e a k e r s a n d h e a r e r s w i l l t r e a t i n f o r m a t i o n a s g i v e n o r 2 n e w . M o r e s u c c e s s f u l s e m a n t i c w o r k o n t h e n o t i o n s l a b e l e d b y T G t h e o r i s t s a s f o c u s a n d p r e s u p p o s i t i o n , a n d w o r k w h i c h c o n n e c t s t h e n o t i o n s t o t h e d i s c o u r s e l e v e l , i s t h a t o f H a l l i d a y ( 1 9 6 7 ) . H a l l i d a y d i f f e r e n t i a t e s b e t w e e n a g i v e n i n f o r m a t i o n / n e w i n f o r m a t i o n d i s t i n c t i o n o p e r a t i n g a t t h e d i s c o u r s e l e v e l , a n d a t h e m e / r h e m e d i s t i n c t i o n o p e r a t i n g a t t h e s e n t e n c e l e v e l . G i v e n i n f o r m a t i o n i s w h a t w a s b e i n g t a l k e d a b o u t i n t h e d i s c o u r s e , w h i l e t h e t h e m e o f a s e n t e n c e i s w h a t _is b e i n g t a l k e d a b o u t i n t h a t p a r t i c u l a r c l a u s e o r s e n t e n c e . I n t h e u n m a r k e d c a s e , t h e g i v e n i n f o r m a t i o n w i l l 8 be the theme of the sentence and the new information w i l l be the rheme. If t h i s organization does not hold, i n spoken English the new information w i l l be stressed counter to the normal stress pattern, which places stress toward the end of the sentence (cf. endnote 2). In written language we do not have access to stress contours to aid semantic interpretation. Instead we must r e l y on word order and the use of various focusing devices to signal given and new information. Jacobs (1969) noted, i n dealing with the TG question of whether or not transformations were meaning preserving, that c e r t a i n transformations altered the focus and presupposition of sentences. The nominalization transformation, used to change (1) to (2) (1) Huck admired Jim greatly. This led him to... (2) Huck's great admiration for Jim led him to... moves the emphasis from "admire" i n (1) to the causal r e l a t i o n i n (2). The c l e f t sentence transformation and the extraposition transformation are also i d e n t i f i e d as focus-altering devices. While Jacobs i s dealing with the problem at the sentence l e v e l , a s i m i l a r , broader study of the same type i s undertaken by Crelder (1979), who i d e n t i f i e s transformations which t o p i c a l i z e (topic, presupposition, and theme are a l l similar notions) elements or focus (focus and rheme being similar) them by i d e n t i f y i n g 9 the contexts i n which the transformed sentences could naturally occur. Since the beginning of the seventies, a number of theorists have worked with the notion of given and new information i n discourse. B e l l e r t (1970) noted that coherence occurred when the interpretation of S^ was dependent on the interpretation of S^,...,S^_^, plus some amount of world knowledge. The addressor may assume knowledge of the preceding text and some knowledge of the world i n the addressee. I f the addressee i s unable to interpret the text through a lack of world knowledge, the text may be considered incoherent. Such a d e f i n i t i o n of coherence suggests the problem of incoherence i s not to be found on the page, but rather i n the relationship between text and reader. Kintsch (1970) , i n an elementary textbook on human learning, defines given information i n terms of i t s status i n memory: "If the f a m i l i a r i t y value of a test item i s greater than some c r i t i c a l value, the item w i l l be recognized as old; i f the f a m i l i a r i t y value of an item f a l l s below a c r i t e r i o n i t w i l l be c a l l e d new" (291). Chafe (1974) c a l l s given information that which the speaker assumes i s i n the hearer's consciousness. New information may have previously been mentioned but i s treated as no longer being i n the hearer's consciousness. Chafe's d e f i n i t i o n takes into account the fact that hearers and 10 readers might forget information previously introduced i n the text, something B e l l e r t ' s d e f i n i t i o n does not. Grimes (1975) relates given and new information to cohesion, saying that cohesion "has to do with the means of introducing new information and of keeping track of old information. . . I t i s also t i e d up with the speaker's estimate of the rate at which the hearer can process new information" (113). Grimes also introduces the term " f i e l d of reference," the information that the speaker and hearer share and can refer to without extra information (289) . I t i s on the basis of thi s f i e l d of reference that the hearer makes inferences; i t i s part of the hearer's data base and i s constantly expanded as the hearer processes new information from the discourse. Chafe (1972) makes a similar point when he suggests that discourse e n t a i l s the continual modification of the hearer's , semantic repertoire. Van Dijk (1977) suggests that the arrangement of given and new information i s one of the factors a f f e c t i n g coherence. De Beaugrande and Dressier (1981) c a l l coherence the "interaction of TEXT-PRESENTED KNOWLEDGE with people's STORED KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD" (6-7; th e i r emphasis). They don't e x p l i c i t l y mention the notions of given and new information, but c l e a r l y the "stored knowledge of the world" i s c l o s e l y related to Grimes' f i e l d of reference, and both have to do with information that the hearer w i l l consider 11 fa m i l i a r , and thus given, or old (in Kintsch's terminology), or which the hearer w i l l have i n his or her consciousness (in Chafe's terminology). Haviland and Clark (1974), Clark and Haviland (1977), and Clark (1977) provide a formalized account of how given and new information are dealt with i n memory. In Clark and Haviland (1977), the following example i s presented: (3) I t was Percival who piqued the professor. If the speaker of such a sentence i s abiding by the rules of the given/new contract, the hearer w i l l have a proposition i n his/her memory with the following information: (4) x piqued the professor. They represent t h i s proposition as (5) piqued the professor, and the new information i s (6) E^y equals P e r c i v a l . The hearer of a sentence attempts to match the s y n t a c t i c a l l y marked given information i n the sentence to propositions i n memory. The new information i n the sentence i s then added to the old information. They also note that hearers have strategies for dealing with information marked as given but which has no d i r e c t antecedent i n memory. In such cases the hearer attempts to make implicatures. I f such implicatures are not possible, the hearer i s regarded to have i n t e n t i o n a l l y or unintentionally v i o l a t e d the given/new 12 c o n t r a c t . B e l l e r t , G r i m e s , v a n D i j k , a n d d e B e a u g r a n d e a n d D r e s s i e r a l l r e l a t e t h e n o t i o n o f g i v e n a n d n e w i n f o r m a t i o n t o c o h e r e n c e , t h o u g h i n e a c h c a s e t h e t e r m i n o l o g y i s s o m e w h a t d i f f e r e n t . I n v a r i o u s a r t i c l e s , C l a r k a n d H a v i l a n d t i e t h e g i v e n / n e w c o n t r a c t t o t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f l a n g u a g e , t h e l a t t e r n o t i o n c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o , a n d p e r h a p s i d e n t i c a l w i t h , d i s c o v e r i n g c o h e r e n c e . E v e n t h e e v e r y d a y u s e o f t h e t e r m " c o h e r e n c e " i n c l u d e s t h e i d e a o f b e i n g a b l e t o r e l a t e t h e i n c o m i n g i n f o r m a t i o n t o w h a t o n e a l r e a d y k n o w s . O t h e r s e m a n t i c t r e a t m e n t s o f d i s c o u r s e i n c l u d e t h o s e b a s e d o n c o h e s i o n a n d d i s c o u r s e d e i x i s , t h o s e b a s e d o n t h e l e v e l o f i n f e r e n c i n g r e q u i r e d o f t h e r e a d e r , a n d t h o s e b a s e d o n t h e h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e o f d i s c o u r s e a n d t h e n o t i o n o f f r a m e s . T h e t r e a t m e n t s b a s e d o n h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e a n d o n f r a m e s a r e l e s s d i r e c t l y c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e p r e s e n t p r o j e c t . O f l i n g u i s t i c a t t e m p t s t o d e a l w i t h t h e c o n n e c t e d n e s s o f d i s c o u r s e , o n e o f t h e f i r s t w a s t h a t o f F i l l m o r e ( 1 9 7 5 ; t h e l e c t u r e s o n w h i c h t h e p u b l i c a t i o n w a s b a s e d w e r e a c t u a l l y p r e s e n t e d i n 1 9 7 1 ) . F i l l m o r e t e r m e d t h e n o t i o n o f c o n n e c t e d n e s s " d i s c o u r s e d e i x i s " a n d d e f i n e d i t a s h a v i n g " t o d o w i t h t h e c h o i c e o f l e x i c a l o r g r a m m a t i c a l e l e m e n t s w h i c h i n d i c a t e o r o t h e r w i s e r e f e r t o s o m e p o r t i o n o r a s p e c t o f t h e o n g o i n g d i s c o u r s e . . . " ( 7 0 ) . T h i s t r e a t m e n t w a s p a r t o f a l a r g e r p r o j e c t o n t h e w h o l e n o t i o n o f d e i x i s , o r p o i n t i n g w i t h w o r d s . D i s c o u r s e d e i x i s , o r 13 r e f e r e n c e s w i t h i n t h e t e x t , a r e o n e k i n d o f s u c h p o i n t i n g . F i l l m o r e ' s t r e a t m e n t i s i n t r o d u c t o r y a n d q u i t e i n f o r m a l . B y c o n t r a s t , t h e n o t i o n o f " c o h e s i o n , " t h e d e p e n d e n c e o f t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f o n e e l e m e n t i n a d i s c o u r s e o n a n o t h e r , p r e s e n t e d b y H a l l i d a y a n d H a s a n (1976) i s h i g h l y f o r m a l i z e d , c o h e s i o n b e i n g d i v i d e d i n t o f i v e t y p e s w h i c h a r e f u r t h e r d i v i d e d i n t o n u m e r o u s s u b t y p e s . E s s e n t i a l l y , t h e t w o n o t i o n s a r e q u i t e s i m i l a r , t h e m a j o r d i f f e r e n c e b e i n g t h a t H a l l i d a y a n d H a s a n s p e c i f i c a l l y e x c l u d e r e f e r e n c e w i t h i n s e n t e n c e s ( w h i c h t h e y r e g a r d a s a g r a m m a t i c a l p r o p e r t y o f l a n g u a g e ) f r o m t h e d o m a i n o f c o h e s i o n , w h i l e F i l l m o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y i n c l u d e s s u c h r e f e r e n c e i n t h e d o m a i n o f d i s c o u r s e d e i x i s . F u r t h e r m o r e , H a l l i d a y a n d H a s a n e x t e n d t h e i r t r e a t m e n t f u r t h e r t h a n d o e s F i l l m o r e , c l a i m i n g t h a t c o h e s i o n d e f i n e s t e x t u a l i t y a n d i s s o m e h o w c e n t r a l t o t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f l a n g u a g e . T h e r e a d e r o f a t e x t i d e n t i f i e s i t a s a t e x t r a t h e r t h a n a s a r a n d o m c o l l e c t i o n o f s e n t e n c e s b e c a u s e o f t h e c o h e s i v e d e v i c e s w i t h i n i t . O d e l l (1981) c l a i m s t h a t c o h e r e n c e o c c u r s w h e n t h e t e x t i n q u e s t i o n c o n t a i n s a w i d e v a r i e t y a n d a l a r g e n u m b e r o f c o h e s i v e d e v i c e s . W i t t e a n d F a i g l e y (1981) d i s a g r e e t h a t c o h e s i o n c a n a c c o u n t f o r c o h e r e n c e o n i t s o w n , b u t t h e y d o c o n c e d e t h a t t h e t w o n o t i o n s a r e c l o s e l y r e l a t e d , c o h e s i o n b e i n g e s s e n t i a l f o r c o h e r e n c e ( c f . b e l o w f o r e x p a n s i o n o f t h i s n o t i o n ) . F o r my p u r p o s e s , t h e d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e t w o 14 depends on the results of the h o l i s t i c scoring; cohesion has been defined, while coherence has yet to be. A recent semantic treatment of discourse i s Crothers' (1978, 1979) attempt to formalize a method of determining the extent to which the underlying structure of a discourse i s made up of reader inferences. The purpose behind his study i s to develop a theory applicable to psycholinguistic research. Consequently, he has formulated p r i n c i p l e s for descriptive analyses of given passages rather than for developing a generative grammar of discourse. The l a t t e r "would characterize only the more abstract properties of texts i n general" rather than producing f u l l and deep descriptions of p a r t i c u l a r texts. The l e v e l of analysis i s the text while omitting sentence l e v e l d e t a i l s . Attempting to deal with the sentence l e v e l as well as the textual l e v e l would r e s u l t i n an overwhelming amount of d e t a i l . Crothers c i t e s Ross (1974:129) as claiming that 22 propositions underly the sentence "Floyd broke the glass" (6). In Crothers' system the analyst must determine the l e v e l at which an inferred proposition contributes to coherence. Furthermore, the theory must include inferences based on world knowledge to account adequately for the underlying propositional structure of the text, leaving the p o s s i b i l i t y of two analysts d i f f e r i n g i n t h e i r judgments about the p l a u s i b i l i t y or necessity of an inference. Crothers' 15 suggestion for dealing with t h i s problem i s simply for the analyst to be as consistent as possible. The analysis can also be s i m p l i f i e d depending on the depth required by the project at hand. Crothers claims that his study i s the only one presently to concentrate on the structure of texts from the point of view of inference. The a b i l i t y to i n f e r , hinted at i n the work of Haviland and Clark on the given/new contact, i s c l e a r l y one of the factors that enables readers to make sense of discourse, or, i n other terms, to f i n d coherence i n i t . Other works on discourse attempt to deal with i t s h i e r a r c h i c a l structure or with the formalizing of world knowledge i n frames required for interpreting texts. Chafe (1977b) notes that speakers must organize experience as a f i r s t step before v e r b a l i z a t i o n . He uses the term "schematization" for t h i s d i v i d i n g of experience (1977a). Schank and Abelson (1977) develop the notions of s c r i p t s and plans to describe the strategies humans have for dealing with varied situations that A r t i f i c i a l Intelligence t h e o r i s t s must teach machines i n order for them to deal with natural language. These approaches have i n common the notion that we have some sort of map for situations we encounter. The map provides us with the information we need to disambiguate words with more than one meaning, to interpret d e i c t i c markers, and to make inferences. 16 Theorists dealing with the h i e r a r c h i c a l structure of discourse include Kintsch (1974), who argues and presents experimental evidence that texts are made up of ordered propositions that are psychologically r e a l and that these propositions d i f f e r i n t h e i r importance i n the text. Crothers (1972) also suggests that texts are h i e r a r c h i c a l l y ordered, a notion he returns to i n his studies of inference (1978, 1979), i n the l a t e r work providing a method for determining that structure. Frederiksen (1975a) suggests, i n work that doesn't f i t ' neatly into any of the previously mentioned categories, that understanding may be a process of the l i s t e n e r or reader i n f e r r i n g the knowledge structure of the speaker or writer using the available l i n g u i s t i c message, context cues, and his/her own knowledge store. He presents what he considers to be the l o g i c a l and semantic networks required to generate his example ten-proposition text. The presentation i s very thorough; the analysis takes three f u l l pages to present. While such length i s acceptable for a short text, extending that sort of analysis, for instance, to the forty-eight essays averaging t h i r t y - e i g h t propositions each which made up my data-base would r e s u l t i n approximately f i v e hundred pages, not including commentary. Clearly, coherence researchers and theoris t s face some d i f f i c u l t i e s . Theoretical studies must be f a i r l y deep to produce 0> 17 i n t e r e s t i n g r e s u l t s , but t e s t i n g deep analyses i s forbidding to empirical researchers. Crothers 1 study, too, produced a large number of pages of analysis for the t o t a l length of the passages he worked with, but he does claim his method may be less rigorously applied without destroying i t s effectiveness. The t h i r d main strand of research relevant to the study of discourse i s that of empirical studies i n psychology which test various of the positions put forward i n the t h e o r e t i c a l work on discourse. Freedle and C a r r o l l , i n t h e i r preface to the c o l l e c t i o n of essays, Language  Comprehension and the A q u i s i t i o n of Knowledge (1972), trace the development of psycho-linguistic research. They note that 1962 began a period of empirical study of syntax at the sentence l e v e l , following the lead of TG t h e o r i s t s . After 1968, t e s t i n g of the issues brought up by semantic case theory began with movement toward highlighting the possible roles of perceptual and information-processing strategies. The c o l l e c t i o n they present deals both with semantic problems from l i n g u i s t i c s and with questions of memory, inference, and motivation from psychology. Work dealing with memory which relates to my project includes that of de V i l l i e r s (1974) who found that subjects remembered thematically related discourse better than groups of unrelated sentences. Such a study, while confirming a 18 common sense view, i s important because i t indicates that we remember not the surface manifestation of sentences, but th e i r underlying meaning, and that, furthermore, successive sentences are incorporated into the information c u l l e d from previous ones. Gentner (1976) found that subjects remembered more on each successive hearing of a passage (up to four). Again confirming a common sense view, t h i s study i s important because i t indicates that hearing i s not simply a matter of taking information d i r e c t l y from a text; i f i t were so, subjects might well have remembered everything about the text on the f i r s t hearing. Instead, i t suggests that hearers must relate new information to that already i n th e i r memories, and that t h i s process i s limited i n i t s speed of occurrence. Frederiksen (1975b) found that subjects selected information for processing rather than processing a l l the.information and r e c a l l i n g only part. These re s u l t s indicate to Frederiksen that the semantic structure of a text i s derived from but not d i r e c t l y presented i n the text, thus supporting Gentner's findings. Gentner's study also indicated that people organize the passage i n th e i r memories f i r s t i n li n e a r order and l a t e r 4 h i e r a r c h i c a l l y , or based on a.story grammar. McKoon (1977) found that subjects r e c a l l e d information immediately aft e r reading without regard for i t s h i e r a r c h i c a l importance, but that af t e r a twenty-five minute delay, the h i e r a r c h i c a l 19 i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e i n f o r m a t i o n b e c a m e v e r y s i g n i f i c a n t . A l l t h e s e r e s u l t s s u g g e s t t h a t t h e r e i s m u c h m o r e t o t h e r e a d i n g 5 o f t e x t s t h a n s i m p l y p r o c e s s i n g s e n t e n c e s i n l i n e a r o r d e r . S t u d i e s m o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y r e l e v a n t t o t h e p r e s e n t p r o j e c t i n c l u d e a s t u d y o f t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l r e a l i t y o f f o c u s a n d p r e s u p p o s i t i o n b y H o r n b y (1974). S u b j e c t s h e a r d s e n t e n c e s t h a t d e s c r i b e d a s i t u a t i o n . T h e y w e r e t h e n s h o w n a p i c t u r e v e r y b r i e f l y (50 m s e c . ) a n d w e r e a s k e d t o j u d g e w h e t h e r t h e p i c t u r e w a s a t r u e o r f a l s e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e s i t u a t i o n d e s c r i b e d i n t h e s e n t e n c e . E i t h e r t h e p r e s u p p o s i t i o n o f t h e s e n t e n c e o r t h e f o c u s m i g h t b e f a l s e l y r e p r e s e n t e d , o r b o t h m i g h t b e r e p r e s e n t e d a c c u r a t e l y . I n t h e s e n t e n c e (7) I t w a s t h e d o g t h a t b i t t h e g i r l , " t h e d o g " i s t h e f o c u s a n d " b i t t h e g i r l " i s t h e p r e s u p p o s i t i o n . I f t h e p i c t u r e s h o w e d a c a t b i t i n g a g i r l , t h e n t h e f o c u s w a s r e p r e s e n t e d f a l s e l y . I f i t s h o w e d a d o g b i t i n g a b o y , t h e n t h e p r e s u p p o s i t i o n w a s r e p r e s e n t e d f a l s e l y . H o r n b y f o u n d t h a t s u b j e c t s m a d e m o r e e r r o r s i n j u d g i n g w h e n t h e p r e s u p p o s i t i o n w a s r e p r e s e n t e d f a l s e l y t h e n w h e n t h e f o c u s w a s , s u g g e s t i n g t h a t t h e p r e s u p p o s i t i o n w a s t a k e n a s g i v e n i n f o r m a t i o n a n d n o t c h e c k e d a s c l o s e l y b y t h e s u b j e c t s t o v e r i f y i t . H u p e t a n d L e B o u e d e c (1977) f o u n d t h a t s u b j e c t s r e m e m b e r e d m o r e c o m p l e x i d e a s b e t t e r w h e n t h e a n t e c e d e n t o f t h e i n f o r m a t i o n p r e s e n t e d a s g i v e n w a s m o r e 20 a c c e s s i b l e . W h e n f o u r r e l a t e d p r o p o s i t i o n s w e r e c o n s e c u t i v e l y o r d e r e d t h e y r e m e m b e r e d t h e c o m p l e x i d e a s b e t t e r t h a n w h e n t h e p r o p o s i t i o n s w e r e r a n d o m l y o r d e r e d . W h e n t h e s a m e e x p e r i m e n t w a s r e p e a t e d w i t h t h e s a m e s u b j e c t s , a l l g r o u p s d i d m u c h b e t t e r , p r e s u m a b l y b e c a u s e t h e s u b j e c t s h a d a n t e c e d e n t s t o w h i c h t o a t t a c h t h e i n f o r m a t i o n t h e y m i s s e d t h e f i r s t t i m e . H a v i l a n d a n d C l a r k (1974) f o u n d t h a t s u b j e c t s u n d e r s t o o d s e n t e n c e s f a s t e r w h e n t h e a n t e c e d e n t i n f o r m a t i o n w a s m o r e a c c e s s i b l e . T h e s e s t u d i e s b a c k u p t h e c o n t e n t i o n t h a t t h e n o t i o n o f g i v e n a n d n e w i n f o r m a t i o n i s i m p o r t a n t f o r r e c e i v e r s o f t e x t s t o m a k e s e n s e o f o r f i n d c o h e r e n c e i n t h o s e t e x t s . R e s e a r c h w h i c h r e l a t e s t o t h e n o t i o n o f i n f e r e n c e s h a s a l s o b e e n d o n e . B r a n s f o r d a n d F r a n k s (1971) f o u n d t h a t w h e n s u b j e c t s w e r e p r e s e n t e d w i t h g r o u p s o f s e n t e n c e s w h i c h w e r e r e l a t e d p r o p o s i t i o n a l l y , t h e y r e m e m b e r e d h a v i n g b e e n s h o w n s e n t e n c e s c o n t a i n i n g t h o s e p r o p o s i t i o n s w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e y h a d a c t u a l l y b e e n s h o w n t h a t p a r t i c u l a r s e n t e n c e , i n d i c a t i n g t h a t p e o p l e r e m e m b e r s e m a n t i c i n f o r m a t i o n b u t n o t s u r f a c e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f s e n t e n c e s . F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e h i g h e r t h e n u m b e r o f p r o p o s i t i o n s c o n t a i n e d i n t h e s e n t e n c e , t h e m o r e s u r e t h e s u b j e c t s w e r e t h a t t h e y h a d s e e n t h e m , w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e y h a d . T h o r n d y k e (1976) f o u n d t h a t w h e n s u b j e c t s h a d t o m a k e a n i n f e r e n c e i n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d a c o n t i n u a t i o n s e n t e n c e , t h e i n f e r r e d i n f o r m a t i o n w a s f r e q u e n t l y r e c o g n i z e d 2 1 a s h a v i n g e x p l i c i t l y o c c u r r e d , s u g g e s t i n g t h a t p e o p l e s t o r e i n f e r e n c e s a s w e l l a s e x p l i c i t i n f o r m a t i o n i n m e m o r y . T h e s e s t u d i e s i n d i c a t e t h a t m u c h o f t h e i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t i s n o t e x p l i c i t l y p r e s e n t e d i n t e x t s a n d r e l a t i o n s t h a t a r e n o t e x p l i c i t l y m a d e b e t w e e n p r o p o s i t i o n s w i l l b e i n f e r r e d a n d t r e a t e d a s h a v i n g e x p l i c i t l y o c c u r r e d b y a r e c e i v e r t r y i n g t o m a k e s e n s e o f o r f i n d c o h e r e n c e i n a t e x t . T h e w o r k r e v i e w e d i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h e o r i s t s a r e n o t i c i n g a s t r o n g l i n k b e t w e e n m e m o r y a n d t h e p r o c e s s o f m a k i n g s e n s e o f t e x t s . W o r k o n c o h e s i o n a n d d i s c o u r s e d e i x i s a n d o n t h e g i v e n / n e w c o n t r a c t s u g g e s t s t h a t r e a d i n g a t e x t a n d f i n d i n g c o h e r e n c e i s r e a l l y a p r o c e s s o f c o n t i n a l l y b e i n g r e m i n d e d o f w h a t w e n t b e f o r e a n d h o w n e w i n f o r m a t i o n r e l a t e s t o i t . W o r k o n i n f e r e n c i n g i n d i c a t e s t h a t m o r e t h a n s i m p l y t h e s u r f a c e t e x t i s u s e d i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g d i s c o u r s e . E m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h h a s l a r g e l y b a c k e d u p t h e a s s e r t i o n s o f t h e s e t h e o r i s t s , t h o u g h r e s e a r c h o n c o h e s i o n a n d d i s c o u r s e d e i x i s i s g e n e r a l l y l a c k i n g . T h e w o r k r e v i e w e d f r e q u e n t l y i s n o t e x p l i c i t l y r e l a t e d t o c o h e r e n c e b y t h e t h e o r i s t o r t h e r e s e a r c h e r , b u t m o s t o f i t i s r e l a t e d t o t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f s e n t e n c e s o r d i s c o u r s e s . I f we a r e t o u s e c o h e r e n c e a s a t e c h n i c a l t e r m r e l a t e d i n a n y w a y t o t h e n o r m a l u s e o f t h e w o r d , t h e n c l e a r l y we m u s t c o n s i d e r c o h e r e n c e t o b e s t r o n g l y r e l a t e d t o t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t e x t s . I n f a c t , i t s e e m s 22 u s e f u l t o s u g g e s t t h a t u n d e r s t a n d i n g a t e x t i s a m a t t e r o f f i n d i n g c o h e r e n c e i n i t . St c 23 3. Review of composition theory l i t e r a t u r e The value of the discourse theory l i t e r a t u r e I have reviewed has been limited for composition teachers by the lack of any application of the theories to student writing. Some work on units of language larger than the sentence has been applied to student writing, though none of i t has dealt empirically with coherence. Perhaps the f i r s t modern attack on structure i n discourse beyond the sentence that i s aimed at composition teachers was that of Kenneth Pike (1964), the founder of tagmemic l i n g u i s t i c s . Pike's work had, for some time, been outside the mainstream of work i n l i n g u i s t i c s . Previous to the emergence of tagmemics, only Harris (1952) had applied l i n g u i s t i c methodology to units beyond the sentence. The assumption governing Pike's work i s that a l l human experience i s structured by certain universal invariants, i n language manifested i n grammatical structure. If language occurs i n units larger than sentences, then, following Pike's assumption, discourse must have grammatical structure. 24 The obvious unit i n which to look for th i s grammatical structure was the paragraph. Becker (1965), another tagmemic th e o r i s t , presented a tagmemic theory of the paragraph, po s i t i n g t o p i c / r e s t r i c t i o n / i l l u s t r a t i o n or problem/solution as the basic structures for expository paragraphs. The d i f f i c u l t y for Becker, as for a l l those who posit basic structures for paragraphs, i s accounting for paragraphs not f i t t i n g those basic structures. The problem i s greater for grammarians, who (as Christensen (1968) points out) wish to map out the possible, than i t i s for r rhetoricians, who wish to narrow down the possible to the desirable or the e f f e c t i v e . The grammarian must account for a l l paragraphs that a speaker of English would i d e n t i f y as possible, whether or not they are at a l l e f f e c t i v e . Becker's work was preceded shortly by Christensen's (1965) a r t i c l e , "A Generative Rhetoric of the Paragraph." In that a r t i c l e , he claimed that i n function paragraphs operate as macro- or meta-sentences, being, generally, coordinate, subordinate or mixed i n sequence, and having topic sentences. While some paragraphs do not conform, that lack of conformity i s a mark of t h e i r i n f e r i o r i t y . Both Becker and Christensen suggest that the organizing p r i n c i p l e s of sentences and paragraphs are the same. The difference between the two theories i s that Christensen i s discussing the organization of information within the unit, while 25 Becker i s discussing the grammatical structure of the unit i t s e l f . Focus on the paragraph continued with an argument by Paul Rodgers (1966) against the s t r u c t u r a l view of the paragraph which he traces back to Alexander Bain. He notes that many very useful, well-written paragraphs don't conform to the basic structures or "rules" for paragraphs presented by Bain, and he presents inductive evidence to support his argument. In place of the paragraph, Rodgers o f f e r s the notion of the stadium of discourse (1966b), f i n a l l y suggesting that as the basic r h e t o r i c a l unit (1967). Rodgers' second a r t i c l e appeared i n "Symposium on the Paragraph" i n College Composition and Communication along with a r t i c l e s by Becker (1966) and Christensen (1966) restating t h e i r positions, and new a r t i c l e s by K a r f a l t (1966), suggesting the paragraph i s a st r u c t u r a l unit but more complicated than previously suggested, and Miles (1966), suggesting that there i s a variety of kinds of paragraphs and consequently a variety of d i f f e r e n t structures. Rockas (1966) continued the paragraph debate, c a l l i n g the very existence of paragraphs as anything but a r b i t r a r y units between indentations "a whopping deductive assumption" (148). The controversy over paragraphs continued with an a r t i c l e , "The Psychological Reality of the Paragraph" (Koen, Becker, and Young 1969) presenting 26 research i n which subjects were given passages of 216 to 592 words and asked to indicate paragraph boundaries. Inter-judge r e l i a b i l i t y was .75. When the content words i n the passages were replaced by nonsense words, inter-judge r e l i a b i l i t y increased to .85, suggesting to the authors that paragraphing i s largely guided by "formal" cues. Unfortunately, the judgments of the subjects were not compared to those of the orginal authors. Conversely,Stern (1976), i n an informal experiment with more than one hundred English teachers, mostly committed to t r a d i t i o n a l "rules" for paragraph construction, found only f i v e who paragraphed as the author had. Unfortunately, Stern does not indicate the inter-judge r e l i a b i l i t y for his experiment, thus leaving open the p o s s i b i l i t y that the o r i g i n a l author paragraphed in a very odd manner. Perhaps the best known a r t i c l e on the paragraph i s that of Braddock (1974), who found that even i f paragraphs are s t r u c t u r a l units, t h e i r structure i s not that suggested by composition handbooks. Braddock found that less than half the expository paragraphs i n his sample, drawn from magazines such as The A t l a n t i c , Harper's, and The  New Yorker, contained e x p l i c i t topic sentences. Only thirteen percent contained one i n f i r s t p o s i t i o n . Other early attempts to deal with structure i n discourse included suggestions that teaching l o g i c to writing students was important. Upton (1965) advocated 27 teaching types of analysis followed by teaching topic sentence, body, and conclusion, followed by d r i l l s . P i t t (1966) suggested teaching symbolic l o g i c along with composition, s p e c i f i c a l l y teaching v a l i d argument. Both these papers f a i l i n an important respect: they do not d i f f e r e n t i a t e between formal l o g i c , which requires that every step be e x p l i c i t , and natural language, which requires that information to which the receiver of the message has access be l e f t out. Other views on discourse structure developed along the same l i n e s as Rodgers 1 notion of stadium of discourse. P i t k i n (1969) offered the notion of discourse blocs, suggesting that these are the basis of discourse structure. He expands t h i s notion i n discussing the r e s t r i c t e d number of ways that four " h i e r a r c h i c a l l y equal" statements can be ordered (1977). These ways of ordering are accounted for by functional relationships such as cause/effect. Nold and Davis (1980) present a three dimensional discourse matrix as the governing structure i n discourse. Successive T-units are coordinate or equally abstract as previous ones, subordinate or less abstract, or superordinate or more abstract. Rodgers' stadium of discourse, they argue, consists of the T-units between two instances of superordination. Coherence "seems to depend partly on how 28 c l o s e l y the switches follow a pattern that the reader expects" (142). D'Angelo (1974, 1975) follows up Christensen 1s notion of generative rhetoric and suggests that entire essays are structured by successive coordinations and subordinations. In the l a t e r work, he goes on to suggest that the structure of the human mind determines the structure of discourse, and that we should, therefore, be able to determine something about the nature of the human mind through the study of discourse structure. Perhaps i s i s at t h i s point that we get a somewhat u n i f i e d product-oriented theory of composition. D'Angelo's notion of the relationship of mind and discourse seems to be an i n n a t i s t way of stating Pike's contention that there are p r i n c i p l e s underlying a l l human behavior, manifested i n language as grammatical structure. Furthermore, Christensen's notion of coordination and subordination, which Nold and Davis connect to Rodgers' notion of stadium of discourse, i s present as well. With the exception of Winterowd's work, the major e f f o r t s i n composition theory beyond the sentence seem to be represented i n D'Angelo's theory. Winterowd's work (1970, 1971), however, i s not e n t i r e l y divorced from the work already mentioned. Winterowd notes the existence of equivalence classes, words with the same referent, running through discourse, hence r e c a l l i n g the 29 t a g m e m i c a p p r o a c h . H i s m a i n c o n c e r n , h o w e v e r , i s w i t h t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n s e n t e n c e s e x p r e s s e d i n t h e f o r m o f t r a n s i t i o n s e i t h e r e x p r e s s e d o r i m p l i e d . H e i d e n t i f i e s s e v e n p o s s i b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p s a m o n g T - u n i t s a n d n o t e s t h a t , w h i l e t h e y a r e f r e q u e n t l y e x p r e s s e d a s t r a n s i t i o n s , t h e y a r e a l s o f r e q u e n t l y l e f t u n e x p r e s s e d w i t h n o l o s s o f m e a n i n g . T h e i m p o r t a n t q u e s t i o n s f o r w o r k i n c o h e r e n c e , f o r W i n t e r o w d , a r e h o w t h e t r a n s i t i o n w o r k s w h e n i t i s i m p l i e d a n d h o w t h e r e a d e r u n d e r s t a n d s w h i c h r e l a t i o n s h i p i s m e a n t . A l a t e r a p p r o a c h t o c o m p o s i t i o n b e y o n d t h e s e n t e n c e i s W i t t e a n d F a i g l e y ' s (1981) a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e w o r k o f H a l l i d a y a n d H a s a n (1976) o n t h e o p e r a t i o n o f c o h e s i o n i n E n g l i s h . T h e y f o u n d t h a t h i g h - r a t e d e s s a y s t e n d t o h a v e m o r e a n d m o r e v a r i e d c o h e s i v e t i e s , s u g g e s t i n g t h a t t h e s e c o h e s i v e t i e s a r e t h e i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t o f t e x t u a l i t y H a l l i d a y a n d H a s a n c l a i m t h e y a r e . M u c h o f t h e w o r k o n e x t r a - s e n t e n t i a l f e a t u r e s i n c o m p o s i t i o n t h e o r y h a s d e a l t w i t h r h e t o r i c a l u n i t s , e i t h e r c l a i m i n g t h a t p a r a g r a p h s a r e r h e t o r i c a l u n i t s o r t h a t t h e y a r e n o t a n d p r e s e n t i n g a l t e r n a t i v e r h e t o r i c a l u n i t s f o r c o n s i d e r a t i o n . W h i l e s u c h w o r k m a y b e o f s o m e v a l u e i n t h e c l a s s r o o m , i t d o e s n o t a d d r e s s a f a r m o r e c r u c i a l p r o b l e m f o r t e a c h e r s o f f r e s h m a n c o m p o s i t i o n : t h a t o f t h e f e a t u r e s a w r i t t e n c o m p o s i t i o n m u s t h a v e t o b e c o n s i d e r e d m i n i m a l l y c o m p e t e n t . O n e o f t h e s e f e a t u r e s a p p e a r s t o b e c o h e r e n c e - -30 in the normal use of the term meaning understandibility. Although a number of a r t i c l e s on coherence have appeared i n the composition theory l i t e r a t u r e , only that of Faigley and Witte has been an empirical study. The remainder have been th e o r e t i c a l or simply speculative, and while theory i s necessary, we also require supporting evidence for the t h e o r e t i c a l work. Even Witte and Faigley's study was an empirical test only of the r e l a t i o n of cohesion to o v e r a l l quality. Their comments on coherence are not empirically tested. Some of the important a r t i c l e s not already dealt with include that of Lybert and Cummings (196 9) who c r i t i c i z e composition handbook instructions regarding coherence. These instructions are, they say, "at best hard to fathom, and at worst wrong" (37-8). They claim that complete r e p e t i t i o n , where the same term with the same referent i s repeated, leads away from coherence; yet complete r e p e t i t i o n i s frequently what the handbooks suggest. Instead, Lybert and Cummings advocate p a r t i a l r e p e t i t i o n — t h e same referent, but a d i f f e r e n t term. They claim, "at least one kind of coherence grows out of the increased demands placed upon the verbal context by abbreviation" (37). Young, Becker, and Pike (1970), i n t h e i r composition theory application of tagmemics, undertake to describe coherence i n paragraphs to learning writers. Possibly because the book i s intended for 31 learning writers, the d e f i n i t i o n s are l e f t less precise than they might have been i n a th e o r e t i c a l work. The primary notion i s that chains of l e x i c a l items run through paragraphs. These chains are, i n Lybert and Cummings' terms, made up of complete and p a r t i a l r e p e t i t i o n s . Writing from a viewpoint grounded i n psychology, Flower (1979) introduces the notion of writer-based prose, some of the features of which are unclear pronoun referents and missing l o g i c a l connectives. The f i r s t of these features r e c a l l s the l e x i c a l chain while the second r e c a l l s Winterowd's concerns. S i m i l a r l y , Bostoff (1981) notes that not a l l the sentences that student writers place next to each other are necessarily connected to each other. She continues, "coherence exists i n a sequence of words, sentences, and paragraphs i n which the reader can perceive connection and understand the structure and therefore the meaning as he reads" (279) . Three general rules are presented for producing coherence: 1) make or sustain l o g i c a l relationships; 2) put together series of relationships i n a consistent way; 3) reveal relationships to the reader. Undoubtedly, following these rules would ensure f a i r l y coherent writing; however, the instructions for the use of the rules are missing, thus greatly l i m i t i n g the value of the advice. 32 Composition theory treatments of issues brought up i n discourse theory include that of Goodin and Perkins (1982) who note that sentences are, i n part, bound together with given and new information. Poor d i s t r i b u t i o n of given and new information results either i n sentences containing l i t t l e new information, making discourse easy to understand but of l i t t l e consequence, or i n those containing i n s u f f i c i e n t given information to allow readers to interpret new information i n context. Witte and Faigley's empirical study of cohesion has already been noted. They f e e l , however, that cohesion does not f u l l y account for coherence. They present the following discourse as an example of writing that contains cohesive devices but i s not coherent: (8) The Quarterback threw the b a l l toward the t i g h t end. (9) B a l l s are used i n many sports. (10) Most b a l l s are spheres, but a f o o t b a l l i s an e l l i p s o i d . (11) The t i g h t end leaped to catch the b a l l . (201; my numbers) The problem with the above text, they say, i s that while i t has a number of unifying devices, i t does not achieve pragmatic u n i t y — a unity with the world of the reader. Odell (1981) also treats the notion of coherence from point of view of cohesion. He presents the following rubric which has been found useful by the 1980 National Assessment of Educational Progress for assessing cohesion and coherence: 1 = L i t t l e or no evidence of cohesion: clauses and 33 sentences are not connected beyond pairings. 2 = Attempts at cohesion: evidence of gathering d e t a i l s but l i t t l e or no evidence that these d e t a i l s are meaningfully ordered. Very l i t t l e would seem l o s t i f the d e t a i l s were rearranged. 3 = Cohesion: d e t a i l s are both gathered and ordered. Cohesion does not necessarily lead to coherence, to the successful binding of parts so that the sense of the whole discourse i s greater than the sense of i t s parts. In pieces of writing that are cohesive rather than coherent, there are large sections of d e t a i l s that cohere but these sections stand apart as sections. 4 = Coherence: while there may be a sense of sections within the piece of writing, the sheer number and variety of cohesion strategies bind the d e t a i l s and sections into a wholeness. This sense of wholeness can be achieved by a saturation of syntactic r e p e t i t i o n throughout the piece and/or by closure that retrospectively orders the entire piece and/or by general statements that organize the whole piece. (122-123) He appears, then, to be endorsing a view that coherence i s simply a very strong degree of cohesion, contrary to the position of Witte and Faigley. Overall, work i n composition theory on coherence, and, i n f a c t, on extra-sentential features i n general, has tended not to take account of related work i n discourse theory. Furthermore, a good portion of composition theory approaches to coherence have been far too general to allow empirical tes t i n g of them, and theories s p e c i f i c enough and rigorous enough for such te s t i n g have generally not been tested. 34 4. Point of departure If composition theorists have tended to ignore the work in discourse theory, writers of t r a d i t i o n a l composition handbooks have been even less attentive. In 1968, exasperated by the inadequacy of these handbooks, Francis Christensen leveled t h i s charge: For decades, the handbooks have been derived from one another. Their chapters on the sentence are mainly negative, rules for salvaging misbegotten sentences. When they are p o s i t i v e , they are couched i n terms of simple, compound, and complex sentences or of loose, balanced, and periodic sentences. When one weighs the magnitude of the tasks of the schools i n teaching writing against t h i s t r i v i a l k i t of tools for doing i t , one wonders about our rig h t to c a l l ourselves a profession (Christensen 1968:572). A decade l a t e r , Mina Shaughnessy noted how overwhelmed and unprepared teachers at the City University of New York were when faced with the in f l u x of "basic writers" caused by the 1970 introduction of the open admissions p o l i c y , and how useless the composition handbooks were i n helping either the teachers or the students (Shaughnessy 1977). In general, composition texts don't appear to provide the sort of guidance that teachers require. Williams (1981) 3 5 points out that many of the rules contained i n composition texts are not relevant to good writing. Conversely, Cooper, Odell, and Courts (1978) suggest that many of the rules that are relevant to good writing are not contained i n the composition texts. They argue that more extensive inductive study of published writing i s required to discover these rules, though c l e a r l y the study of features i n student writing to which composition teachers respond p o s i t i v e l y i s also important. According to recent research, we cannot simply r e l y on what composition teachers claim i s important. Freedman (1979) presents experimental work suggesting that teachers respond most strongly to matters of content and organization, less strongly to mechanics, and lea s t strongly to sentence structure. Yet we are continually faced with back to basics movements, "basics" meaning sentence structure and errors. Joseph Williams (1981) points out the serious over-reaction to usage errors and suggests that many of the errors deemed esp e c i a l l y serious by teachers of English would not be noticed i f the teachers were reading for content rather than looking s p e c i f i c a l l y for errors. Greenbaum and Taylor (1981) tested a group of freshman English instructors and found that, while they were f a i r l y consistent i n i d e n t i f y i n g c l e a r l y unacceptable usages and those which are of divided a c c e p t a b i l i t y , they commonly labeled the errors i n c o r r e c t l y , the most common labels being 36 modification problems, wordiness, and idiom problems. Hake and Williams (1981) tested marker responses to papers with high and low rates of nominalization. They found that i d e n t i c a l (except for nominalization rates) papers ranked high were ranked higher i n t h e i r nominalized form. Lower ranked essays were preferred i n t h e i r non-nominalized form. Yet at almost the same time, Freeman (1981) presented a method of lowering the rate of nominalization i n remedial students' essays, and both handbooks and composition teachers continue, along with Freeman, to blame high 7 nominalization rates for poor essay qu a l i t y . If Hake and Williams are correct, then nominalization i s not the problem i n these poorer qu a l i t y essays, but rather something markers react to negatively i n some cases when the general qu a l i t y of the writing i s poor. Further problems with the r e l i a b i l i t y of English teachers are pointed out by Odell (1981), who claims they frequently react d i f f e r e n t l y to the same piece of writing. Having noted the lack of r e l i a b i l i t y of composition texts' and English teachers' instructions about writing i n general, l e t us look at handbook instructions regarding coherence. The three standard texts i n use at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia the year I began the present study were The Canadian Writer's Handbook (CWH, Messenger and de Bruyn, 1980), Prentice-Hall Handbook for Writers (PH, 37 Leggett, Mead and Charvat 1978) , and P r a c t i c a l Guide to Writing (BS, Barnet and Stubbs 1980). The f i r s t of these was the recommended text, while the other two were provided as options and are f a i r l y commonly used texts at other Canadian and American u n i v e r s i t i e s . Each of the texts provides a general d e f i n i t i o n of coherence. CWH says: Coherence i s weak or faul t y when there i s i n s u f f i c i e n t t r a n s i t i o n between two sentences or two paragraphs. The f i r s t sentence of a paragraph should i n some way provide a connection with the preceding paragraph. S i m i l a r l y , sentences within paragraphs should flow smoothly from one to another (571). In similar fashion, PH says: Unity depends on selecting d e t a i l s and ideas relevant to the paragraph topic. Coherence depends upon organizing these d e t a i l s and ideas so that the reader can e a s i l y see how they are relevant. Even though a l l the sentences of a paragraph bear upon a single point, unless they are knit togther and flow into one another so that t h e i r r e l a t i o n to that single point i s clear, they w i l l not be coherent. A coherent paragraph leads the reader e a s i l y from sentence to sentence. An incoherent paragraph confronts him with puzzling jumps i n thought, events out of sequence, facts i l l o g i c a l l y arranged, or points i n a discussion omitted. Coherence requires that sentences be l o g i c a l l y arranged and c l e a r l y connected (199). BS adds: Writing a coherent essay i s hard work; i t requires mastery of a subject and s k i l l i n presenting i t ; i t always takes a l o t of time. Writing a coherent paragraph often takes more fussing and patching than you expect. Writing a coherent sentence requires only that you stay awake u n t i l the end of i t (272). and: 38 I t i s not enought to write u n i f i e d and organized paragraphs; the unity and organization must be coherent, that i s , s u f f i c i e n t l y clear so that the reader can unhesitatingly follow your t r a i n of thought.- Coherence i s achieved largely by means of t r a n s i t i o n s and r e p e t i t i o n (73). Two of the textbooks divide coherence into two types, sentence coherence and paragraph coherence (BS and CWH). Sentence coherence appears to be a c a t c h - a l l term to cover v i r t u a l l y every possible sentence problem, including those which "may be due to something that can only be labeled awkward or unclear. . ." (CWH 126). Because "sentence coherence" i s used to cover such a wide variety of problems that are probably not related i n any s i g n i f i c a n t way, the term i s meaningless. A l l three handbooks present instructions for achieving coherence i n larger units of writing. A l l three mention the use of t r a n s i t i o n s and r e p e t i t i o n of words and phrases. CWH notes that d i r e c t reference to preceding words, through pronouns and demonstratives, i s also useful, but the treatment of t r a n s i t i o n s i s poor, presenting only a l i s t (incomplete) of t r a n s i t i o n s , with no instructions for use or examples. PH divides i t s l i s t of t r a n s i t i o n s into those i n d i c a t i n g addition, cause and e f f e c t , comparison, etc., providing examples of each type. BS divides i t s l i s t i n a sim i l a r way, though the actual d i v i s i o n s are somewhat d i f f e r e n t . 39 W h i l e i t w o u l d b e v i r t u a l l y i m p o s s i b l e t o d i s a g r e e w i t h t h e g e n e r a l c o m m e n t s a b o u t c o h e r e n c e , t h e y c l e a r l y d o n o t p r o v i d e s a t i s f a c t o r y a n s w e r s f o r s o m e o n e i n t e r e s t e d i n a t h e o r y o f c o h e r e n c e . I n d e e d , w h e n o n e w r i t e s t h e f i r s t s e n t e n c e o f a p a r a g r a p h , o n e s h o u l d e n s u r e t h a t i t " i n s o m e w a y " p r o v i d e s a c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e p r e v i o u s p a r a g r a p h . W i t h o u t d o u b t , s e n t e n c e s s h o u l d " f l o w s m o o t h l y f r o m o n e t o a n o t h e r . " B u t w h a t d o t h e s e i n s t r u c t i o n s r e a l l y m e a n ? T h e y a r e c l e a r e n o u g h t o a p e r s o n w h o i s a l r e a d y a f a i r l y c o m p e t e n t w r i t e r ; s u c h a p e r s o n k n o w s h o w t o m a k e s e n t e n c e " f l o w " t o g e t h e r a n d p r o b a b l y h a s a c o n s i d e r a b l e r e p e r t o i r e o f m e t h o d s o f m a k i n g c o n n e c t i o n s b e t w e e n p a r a g r a p h s " i n s o m e w a y . " B u t t h e j o b o f l i n g u i s t i c t h e o r y , a t t h e s e n t e n c e o r d i s c o u r s e l e v e l , i s t o m a k e t h e k n o w l e d g e o f t h e s p e a k e r o r w r i t e r ( w h e t h e r t h i s k n o w l e d g e i s l e a r n e d o r i n n a t e ) e x p l i c i t . " F l o w " i s n o t a u s e f u l t e r m u n t i l i t i s d e f i n e d e x p l i c i t l y , a n d " i n s o m e w a y " i s t h e o b j e c t o f i n q u i r y a n d n o t a n a d e q u a t e d e s c r i p t i o n o f a n y t h i n g . T h e s p e c i f i c i n s t r u c t i o n s r e g a r d i n g c o h e r e n c e a r e e q u a l l y q u e s t i o n a b l e t h e o r e t i c a l l y . R e p e t i t i o n o f k e y w o r d s a n d p h r a s e s , a c o m m o n h a n d b o o k i n s t r u c t i o n , a c t u a l l y d a m a g e s c o h e r e n c e ( L y b e r t a n d C u m m i n g s 1 9 6 9 ) . T h e t r a n s i t i o n l i s t s a r e p r o v i d e d w i t h n o i d e a o f w h e n a t r a n s i t i o n i s r e q u i r e d a n d w h e n i t c a n b e i n f e r r e d . R e g a r d i n g t h e n e e d f o r e x p l i c i t t r a n s i t i o n s , CWH s a y s , " . . . t h e w r i t e r m u s t s u p p l y e x p l i c i t 40 t r a n s i t i o n s . . . i f n o t h i n g e l s e i s d o i n g t h e j o b . W h a t e v e r w o r k s i s g o o d . I t i s d i f f i c u l t — b u t p o s s i b l e — t o o v e r d o t r a n s i t i o n s . . . . " A g a i n , t h e s e i n s t r u c t i o n s a r e n o t e x p l i c i t . A t h e o r y m u s t i n d i c a t e w h e n a n d u n d e r w h a t c o n d i t i o n s " n o t h i n g e l s e i s d o i n g t h e j o b . " O b v i o u s l y , " w h a t e v e r w o r k s i s g o o d . " T h e i m p o r t a n t q u e s t i o n i s , " W h a t w o r k s ? " A s t r o n g e r c r i t i c i s m o f t h e h a n d b o o k t r e a t m e n t s o f c o h e r e n c e i s t h a t t h e y a r e e q u a l l y v a l u e l e s s i n t h e c l a s s r o o m . T h e r e a d e r m u s t h a v e a n i n t u i t i v e g r a s p o f c o h e r e n c e b e f o r e t h e c o m m e n t s o n c o h e r e n c e i n t h e h a n d b o o k s c a n b e u n d e r s t o o d . O b v i o u s l y i t i s t h o s e v e r y s t u d e n t s w i t h o u t t h e i n t u i t i v e g r a s p w h o a r e m o s t i n n e e d o f t h e i n s t r u c t i o n s . I t s e e m o b v i o u s , t h e n , t h a t t h e h a n d b o o k a c c o u n t s o f c o h e r e n c e a r e i n a d e q u a t e , t h o u g h c o n s i d e r i n g t h e d e a r t h o f t h e o r e t i c a l a n d e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h i n t o c o h e r e n c e , t h e h a n d b o o k w r i t e r s c a n n o t b e h e l d e n t i r e l y r e s p o n s i b l e . W h a t we m u s t d o i s a p p l y s t u d i e s a l r e a d y u n d e r t a k e n i n d i s c o u r s e t h e o r y t o s t u d e n t w r i t i n g i n a t h e o r e t i c a l w a y a n d t h e n t e s t t h e s e r e s u l t i n g t h e o r i e s e m p i r i c a l l y . T h e p r e s e n t s t u d y i s a n a t t e m p t t o p o i n t o u t u s e f u l d i r e c t i o n s t o p r o c e e d b y t e s t i n g s o m e o f t h e d i s c o u r s e t h e o r y n o t i o n s i n a p r e l i m i n a r y w a y , w i t h o u t a l a r g e t h e o r e t i c a l f r a m e w o r k . D i r e c t i o n s w h i c h a p p e a r p r o m i s i n g m i g h t t h e n b e p u r s u e d m o r e e x t e n s i v e l y . T h e d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h i s s t u d y a n d p r e v i o u s 41 e m p i r i c a l s t u d i e s o f t h e e f f e c t s o f c e r t a i n f e a t u r e s o n m a r k e r s ' p e r c e p t i o n s i s t h a t t h i s s t u d y a t t e m p t s t o i s o l a t e o n e a s p e c t o f t h e o v e r a l l j u d g m e n t , t h e j u d g m e n t s a b o u t c o h e r e n c e , r a t h e r t h a n s i m p l y d e a l i n g w i t h t h e o v e r a l l q u a l i t y j u d g m e n t . 42 5 . A i m T h e h a n d b o o k a c c o u n t s o f c o h e r e n c e , t h e n , a r e i n a d e q u a t e . T h e y f a i l t o p r o v i d e t h e i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t s t u d e n t s a n d t e a c h e r s r e q u i r e . P a r t o f t h i s f a i l u r e i s d u e t o t h e t e n d e n c y o f h a n d b o o k w r i t e r s t o i g n o r e r e l e v a n t w o r k i n c o m p o s i t i o n t h e o r y w h i c h d i s p u t e s c o m m o n h a n d b o o k i n j u n c t i o n s r e g a r d i n g c o h e r e n c e . H o w e v e r , m u c h o f t h e l i t t l e w o r k t h e r e i s o n c o h e r e n c e i n c o m p o s i t i o n t h e o r y h a s a p p e a r e d o n l y r e c e n t l y , s o h a n d b o o k w r i t e r s c a n n o t b e h e l d t o t a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e s e f a i l i n g s o f t h e i r h a n d b o o k s . F u r t h e r m o r e , a s a l r e a d y m e n t i o n e d , m a n y o f t h e c o m m o n c o m p o s i t i o n t h e o r y t r e a t m e n t s o f c o h e r e n c e c o n t a i n u n t e s t e d a s s u m p t i o n s f r e q u e n t l y s t a t e d i n u n t e s t a b l e w a y s . T h e c r i t i c i s m p r e v i o u s l y l e v e l e d a t t h e h a n d b o o k t r e a t m e n t s , t h a t t h e r e a d e r m u s t k n o w w h a t c o h e r e n c e i s i n t u i t i v e l y b e f o r e b e i n g a b l e t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e d e f i n i t i o n s p r o v i d e d , a p p l i e s t o m a n y o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n t h e o r y t r e a t m e n t s a s w e l l . S u c h a s i t u a t i o n i s n o t u n r e a s o n a b l e w h e n m o s t o f t h e r e a d e r s a r e c o m p o s i t i o n t e a c h e r s , l i k e l y h a v i n g s u c h i n t u i t i v e k n o w l e d g e , b u t t h i s s i t u a t i o n d o e s p r e v e n t t h e s e 43 t e a c h e r s f r o m t h e n a p p l y i n g t h e t r e a t m e n t s i n t h e i r c l a s s r o o m s . D i s c o u r s e t h e o r y t r e a t m e n t s , o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , a t t e m p t t o p r o v i d e r i g o r o u s , e x p l i c i t d e f i n i t i o n s o f c o h e r e n c e , t h e i r s h o r t c o m i n g f o r c o m p o s i t i o n t e a c h e r s b e i n g t h a t t h e y a r e n o t a p p l i e d d i r e c t l y t o s t u d e n t w r i t i n g . C o m p o s i t i o n t h e o r i s t s m u s t t u r n t o d i s c o u r s e t h e o r y t r e a t m e n t s o r e l s e a t t a c k t h e p r o b l e m o f c o h e r e n c e w i t h t h e s a m e r i g o r d i s c o u r s e t h e o r i s t s i f t h e y a r e t o p r o v i d e s o l u t i o n s t o t h e a l l i m p o r t a n t q u e s t i o n f o r c o m p o s i t i o n t e a c h e r s : w h a t m u s t s t u d e n t s d o t o p r o d u c e c o h e r e n t w r i t i n g ? T h e p r e s e n t s t u d y i s a n a t t e m p t t o d i s c o v e r p r o m i s i n g d i r e c t i o n s f o r f u r t h e r s t u d y . I h a v e a t t e m p t e d t o k e e p t h e t h e o r e t i c a l f r a m e w o r k o f t h e s t u d y t o a m i n i m u m t o f a c i l i t a t e t h e t e s t i n g o f s e v e r a l p r o m i s i n g t h e o r i e s i n a s h a l l o w p r e l i m i n a r y w a y , s a v i n g d e e p e r , m o r e e x t e n s i v e s t u d y o f t h e m u n t i l s o m e i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e i r p o t e n t i a l v a l u e i s d e t e r m i n e d . T h e m o s t b a s i c , a n d m o s t s i g n i f i c a n t , d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h i s a n d p r e v i o u s s t u d i e s o n t h e e f f e c t s o f c e r t a i n f e a t u r e s o n m a r k e r s ' p e r c e p t i o n s i s t h a t t h i s s t u d y a t t e m p t s t o i s o l a t e o n e a s p e c t o f o v e r a l l j u d g m e n t s , t h e j u d g m e n t s a b o u t c o h e r e n c e , r a t h e r t h a n d e a l i n g o n l y w i t h o v e r a l l q u a l i t y j u d g m e n t s . I f t h i s a t t e m p t a t i s o l a t i o n h a s b e e n s u c c e s s f u l , t h e p r o j e c t w i l l h a v e t h e a d v a n t a g e o f d e a l i n g d i r e c t l y w i t h c o h e r e n c e . 44 T h e g e n e r a l a i m o f t h i s p r o j e c t w a s o r i g i n a l l y t o d e t e r m i n e i n d u c t i v e l y a d e f i n i t i o n o f c o h e r e n c e f r o m t h e c o l l e c t i v e j u d g m e n t o f a g r o u p o f c o m p o s i t i o n t e a c h e r s . T h e h y p o t h e s i s u n d e r l y i n g t h i s a i m w a s t h a t a g r o u p o f E n g l i s h t e a c h e r s m a r k i n g i n d e p e n d e n t l y w o u l d c o m e t o s i m i l a r j u d g m e n t s r e g a r d i n g t h e r e l a t i v e c o h e r e n c e o f a g r o u p o f p a p e r s , t h a t t h e r e w o u l d b e g e n e r a l a g r e e m e n t a b o u t w h i c h o f t h e p a p e r s s h o w e d g o o d c o h e r e n c e a n d w h i c h s h o w e d p o o r c o h e r e n c e . I n f a c t , a s t h e r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e , t h e l e v e l o f a g r e e m e n t o n t h e p a p e r s w a s n o t s t r o n g . F o r t h i s r e a s o n I w a s f o r c e d t o c h a n g e t h e a i m o f t h e p r o j e c t f o l l o w i n g r e c e i p t o f t h e r e a d e r s ' r e s u l t s . W h e n i t b e c a m e a p p a r e n t t h a t t h e r e w a s a g r e a t d e a l o f d i s a g r e e m e n t a b o u t t h e p a p e r s , I d e c i d e d i n s t e a d t o a t t e m p t t o d e t e r m i n e i f a n y f e a t u r e s o c c u r r e d c o n s i s t e n t l y i n p a p e r s t h e i n d i v i d u a l r e a d e r s j u d g e d c o h e r e n t o r i n c o h e r e n t . S u c h a n a p p r o a c h , a n d t h e f a c t t h a t I c o u l d n o t b e s u r e t h a t t h e r e a d e r s h a d a c t u a l l y j u d g e d o n l y t h e c o h e r e n c e o f t h e e s s a y s r a t h e r t h a n a l s o d e a l i n g w i t h o t h e r f a c t o r s s u c h a s s t y l e , f o r c e d me t o a n a l y s e t h e e s s a y s f o r a w i d e r v a r i e t y o f f e a t u r e s t h a n I h a d o r i g i n a l l y p l a n n e d . 45 6 . P r o c e d u r e s I n o r d e r t o o b t a i n j u d g m e n t s o n c o h e r e n c e , I p r e s e n t e d f o u r r e a d e r s w i t h a s e t o f f o r t y - e i g h t p a p e r s w i t h t h e f o l l o w i n g i n s t r u c t i o n s : P l e a s e r e a d e a c h o f t h e p a p e r s a n d r e c o r d a m a r k o f 1 t o 4 o n t h e a c c o m p a n y i n g s h e e t b e s i d e t h e n u m b e r o f t h e p a p e r y o u h a v e j u s t r e a d . T h e n u m b e r s h o u l d r e f l e c t o n l y y o u r j u d g m e n t a b o u t h o w c o h e r e n t t h e p a p e r w a s . 1 i n d i c a t e s v e r y p o o r c o h e r e n c e , 2 i n d i c a t e s p o o r c o h e r e n c e , 3 i n d i c a t e s f a i r c o h e r e n c e , a n d 4 i n d i c a t e s g o o d c o h e r e n c e . T h i s i s m e a n t t o b e a h o l i s t i c r a t i n g ; I am l o o k i n g f o r y o u r g e n e r a l i m p r e s s i o n o f t h e e s s a y . P l e a s e d o n o t p u t m a r k s o n t h e p a p e r . I h a v e p r o v i d e d a s h e e t w i t h t h e n u m b e r s 1-48 m a r k e d o n i t . P u t y o u r r a t i n g b e s i d e t h e n u m b e r o f t h e e s s a y y o u a r e r e a d i n g ( t h e e s s a y n u m b e r i s i n t h e t o p r i g h t c o r n e r o f t h e p a p e r ) . E a c h o f t h e r e a d e r s i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e y f u l l y u n d e r s t o o d t h e i n s t r u c t i o n s , t h o u g h l o o k i n g b a c k a t t h e i n s t r u c t i o n s I w o u l d n o t e t h a t t h e f o u r t h s e n t e n c e s h o u l d h a v e r e a d , " . . . y o u r g e n e r a l i m p r e s s i o n s a b o u t t h e c o h e r e n c e o f t h e e s s a y . " A f t e r t h e p a p e r s w e r e r e t u r n e d , I d e t e r m i n e d t h e h i g h e s t a n d l o w e s t r a t e d p a p e r s , a n d a l s o t h o s e w h i c h h a d r e c e i v e d t h e m o s t d i v e r g e n t s c o r e s . T h e s e f i f t e e n h i g h l y 46 divergent papers were then returned to the readers with the following instructions: Now please re-read the papers and indicate by-underlining or c i r c l i n g the places where you f e e l the coherence i s weak. Mechanical and grammatical errors are not important for t h i s study except i n the case that they actually a f f e c t the coherence of the piece. Please mark each place where coherence i s weak as (1) very serious, (2) somewhat serious, (3) not very serious. I t w i l l be assumed that places that are not marked with a 1, 2 or 3 are not sources of incoherence and thus are i m p l i c i t l y 4s. No reasons are required for the numbers you provide; i t i s just your impressions that I am interested i n . The readers i n t h i s project were four teaching assistant at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, each i n charge of a section of English 100. Two of them had taught at l e a s t three previous years. One of the others had had teaching experience at the high school l e v e l p r i o r to the term of teaching English 100 he had completed before p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h i s project. The fourth marker has completed a year of a s s i s t i n g a faculty member i n an English 100 class and a term of teaching his own class. Thus a l l markers had some experience teaching composition and marking papers. Although the l a t t e r two markers had minimal experience at university l e v e l teaching, they were no less experienced than are a number of English 100 instructors each year. The writing samples used for t h i s project were o r i g i n a l l y written for the December 1980 English Composition 47 Test at UBC. The Christmas s i t t i n g of the test i s written by a l l English 100 students and by students tran s f e r r i n g from other u n i v e r s i t i e s or colleges with c r e d i t for English 100, but who either did not write the September s i t t i n g of the exam or else f a i l e d i t . The majority of the students writing the test at Christmas are doing so for the f i r s t time, though a considerable minority at that s i t t i n g have f a i l e d the test at least once previously. The instructions given to the instructors of English 100 classes for dissemination to the students are as follows: The English Composition Test i s a two hour examination i n which the student i s required to summarize a passage of prose and write an essay of approximately 300 words i n length. The use of a dictionary i s permitted. In the f i r s t part of the Test, the student i s asked to summarize the main parts of the prose passage i n no more than 120 words, using his own words as far as possible. The summary should be written i n complete sentences, not i n note form, and presented i n a single paragraph. In the second part of the Test, the student i s asked to. write on one of the two essay topics (the topics are usually on issues suggested by the content of the prose passage i n Part A). Although the essay i s not marked for b r i l l i a n c e or o r i g i n a l i t y of thought, the writer i s expected to show that he can formulate a thesis, support i t with a well-organized and l o g i c a l argument, and express himself i n clear correct English. The test i s marked on a p a s s / f a i l basis. . . . C r i t e r i a for a passing essay presented to markers of the exam include the following: A passing essay should present a u n i f i e d argument that i s a coherent and reasoned response to the question. The writer should show that he can 48 o r g a n i z e h i s i d e a s l o g i c a l l y , s u p p o r t g e n e r a l s t a t e m e n t s w i t h e x p l a n a t i o n s o r s p e c i f i c r e f e r e n c e , p r o v i d e t r a n s i t i o n s , w r i t e u n i f i e d p a r a g r a p h s , a n d e x p r e s s h i m s e l f i n c l e a r , c o r r e c t , a n d i d i o m a t i c E n g l i s h . . . . T h e p a r t i c u l a r e x a m i n a t i o n t h a t I w o r k e d w i t h c o n s i s t s o f a s h o r t p a s s a g e , a d a p t e d f r o m A r t h u r K o e s t l e r ' s J a n u s , w h i c h d i s c u s s e s t h e t h r e a t o f n u c l e a r w a r f a r e a n d h o w i n v e n t i o n s s u c h a s n u c l e a r w e a p o n s c a n n o t b e d i s i n v e n t e d a n d s o a r e h e r e t o s t a y . T h e e x a m t h e n p r e s e n t s t w o e s s a y t o p i c s . I c h o s e o n l y p a p e r s w r i t t e n o n t o p i c t w o i n o r d e r t o e l i m i n a t e t h e v a r i a b l e o f t o p i c . T o p i c t w o r e a d s : I f i t w e r e p o s s i b l e t o s t e m t h e t i d e o f s c i e n t i f i c d i s c o v e r y , w h a t m o d e r n i n v e n t i o n s w o u l d y o u l i k e t o s e e " d i s i n v e n t e d " ? L i m i t y o u r d i s c u s s i o n t o t w o o r t h r e e e x a m p l e s , a n d g i v e c l e a r r e a s o n s f o r y o u r c h o i c e s . T h e e x a m p a p e r s a r e s t a c k e d a l p h a b e t i c a l l y f o r s t o r a g e . I m a n u a l l y s e l e c t e d a p p r o x i m a t e l y f o u r h u n d r e d p a p e r s f a i r l y e v e n l y f r o m t h e s e s t a c k s . F r o m t h e s e l e c t e d p a p e r s I t o o k t w o h u n d r e d w r i t t e n o n t o p i c t w o , a n d f r o m t h e s e I s e l e c t e d f i f t y p a p e r s u s i n g a r a n d o m n u m b e r t a b l e ( B e y e r 1 9 7 8 ) . T h o s e c o n t a i n i n g o b v i o u s s e c o n d l a n g u a g e e r r o r s w e r e r e p l a c e d b y o t h e r p a p e r s , s t i l l u s i n g t h e r a n d o m n u m b e r t a b l e . O f t h e s e f i f t y , o n e m o r e w a s s e l e c t e d o u t l a t e r , h a v i n g b e e n m i s s e d i n t h e f i r s t c h e c k f o r s e c o n d l a n g u a g e p r o b l e m s , a n d a s e c o n d w a s s e l e c t e d o u t b e c a u s e I w a s p e r s o n a l l y a q u a i n t e d w i t h i t s a u t h o r . I t y p e d t h e e s s a y p o r t i o n o f t h e r e m a . i n i n g p a p e r s v e r b a t i m e x c e p t f o r 49 correcting clear s p e l l i n g errors that would have seriously interrupted'reading.^ After the papers were returned following the marking for s p e c i f i c areas of incoherence, I analysed a l l forty-eight papers for a variety of features (to be discussed i n the results section) and the f i f t e e n re-marked papers to determine instances of agreement between and among readers. The analysis for features yielded a st r u c t u r a l description of the essays which could then be tested against the coherence judgments to determine which of the features readers appeared to respond to. The s p e c i f i c coherence errors yielded a sort of incoherence score which I was then able to test against the coherence scores to determine the l e v e l to which readers were able to f i n d s p e c i f i c coherence errors to back up t h e i r h o l i s t i c judgments (the readers did not have access to the h o l i s t i c scores they had previously given). In both cases the results of the analysis were tested against the scores using the Pearson Correlation program. Pearson correlations produce a c o e f f i c i e n t between -1 and 1. A c o e f f i c i e n t of 0 indicates no co r r e l a t i o n at a l l . The closer the co r r e l a t i o n i s to 1, the stronger the posi t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n i s , and the closer i t i s to -1, the stronger the negative c o r r e l a t i o n i s . The program also provides a one-tailed t - t e s t to determine significance l e v e l s . A significance l e v e l of .050 means that the re s u l t 50 could occur by chance one i n twenty times, while a significance l e v e l of .010 means that i t could occur by chance one i n one hundred times. For s o c i a l science research, a significance l e v e l of .050 i s normally accepted as s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t . Inter-rater r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t s were also determined for the forty-eight essays and the f i f t e e n re-marked essays. 5 1 7. Results 7.1 Analysis of scoring and marking In t e s t i n g the s p e c i f i c errors against the h o l i s t i c scores, the scores were f i r s t correlated with the coherence errors i d e n t i f i e d by each reader i n d i v i d u a l l y . Next, the scores were correlated with coherence errors agreed on by each p a i r , each t r i o , and every reader. F i n a l l y the scores were correlated against a l l the coherence errors i d e n t i f i e d by either member of each p a i r , any member of each t r i o , and any of the four readers. C l , C2, C3, and C4 refer to coherence errors i d e n t i f i e d by the in d i v i d u a l readers. C12, C13, C123, C1234, and so on refer to the intersections of the sets of coherence errors i d e n t i f i e d by the appropriately numbered reader (Ml, M2, M3, M4). E12, E13, E123, E1234, and so on refer to the union of those sets. Table 1 shows the correlations between each reader and the t o t a l score (MT) and the coherence errors i d e n t i f i e d by ind i v i d u a l readers. In such a case we expect negative correlations;the number of errors should be higher i n lower rated papers. For t h i s reason I have indicated p o s i t i v e 52 correlations with a "+" i n the results of the coherence error/score correlations rather than simply presenting the TABLE 1 CORRELATIONS BETWEEN SCORES AND COHERENCE ERRORS IDENTIFIED BY READERS N = 15 (p<.05 when rsr.44; p<.01 when r_,.59) Scores Coherence Errors CI C2 C3 C4 Ml -.52 -.28 -.52 + .13 M2 -.32 -.44 .00 + .06 M3 -.34 -.59 -.15 -.45 M4 -.57 -.52 + .02 -.35 MT -.60 -.67 -.23 -.25 integer with no sign, as i s customary. Looking at the table, we f i n d that Ml and M2 each correlate negatively with t h e i r own i d e n t i f i e d errors at a s i g n i f i c a n t l e v e l , as should happen. Neither of the other markers do that. Furthermore, the t o t a l score correlates s i g n i f i c a n t l y with only C l and C2, ind i c a t i n g that readers 1 and 2 were 53 somewhat more r e l i a b l e i n i d e n t i f y i n g coherence errors i n accordance with grades. M3 does correlate s i g n i f i c a n t l y with C2 and C4, but C3 correlates s i g n i f i c a n t l y only with Ml. M4 correlates s i g n i f i c a n t l y with CI and C2, but only M3 correlates with C4. None of the pos i t i v e correlations on th i s table were s i g n i f i c a n t . TABLE 2 CORRELATIONS BETWEEN SCORES AND COHERENCE ERRORS AGREED ON BY MORE THAN ONE READER N = 15 (p^.05 when r>:.44; p<.001 when r>.80) Scores Coherence Errors C12 C24 C34 C124 C1234 Ml -.12 +.31 +.50 -.38 -.49 M2 -.15 +.23 +.47 -.33 -.63 M3 -.55 +.65 +.09 -.37 -.59 M4 -.32 +.54 +.37 -.52 -.54 MT -.438 +.65 +.47 -.56 -.80 Table 2 shows the s i g n i f i c a n t correlations between 54 coherence errors that more than one reader agreed on. Of the t o t a l of 184 coherence errors i d e n t i f i e d i n the essays, only twelve were agreed on by a l l four readers. Thirty-eight were agreed on by three readers, and f i f t y - t h r e e were agreed on by two readers. Eighty-one coherence errors, or forty-four percent, were i d e n t i f i e d by only one reader. In a l l , just over one quarter of the coherence errors were agreed on by more than two people. Those errors that were agreed on by a l l readers showed s i g n i f i c a n t negative correlations with each reader and with the t o t a l score. Those agreed on by readers one, two, and four showed s i g n i f i c a n t negative correlations with M4 and the t o t a l score. C12 showed s i g n i f i c a n t negative correlations with M3 and was just short of such a co r r e l a t i o n with the t o t a l score. The surprising r e s u l t i s that errors agreed on by readers two and four and readers three and four correlated p o s i t i v e l y with scores given by the readers and with the t o t a l score, t h i s c o r r e l a t i o n being s i g n i f i c a n t i n six of the possible ten cases. These results indicate that reader 4 agreed with other readers only when scoring high-rated papers or when the coherence errors were very blatant, as when three or four readers agreed. When a l l the coherence errors that either reader i n a pair i d e n t i f i e d are correlated with the scores, we fi n d that reader two f a i l s to correlate with any pair . Reader 1 55 correlates with coherence errors either he or reader 3 TABLE 3 CORRELATIONS BETWEEN SCORES AND COHERENCE ERRORS IDENTIFIED BY BOTH READERS OF A PAIR N = 15 (p< .05 when r > .44) Scores Coherence Errors E12 E13 E14 E23 E24 E34 Ml -.43 -.63 -.34 -.34 + .08 -.28 M2 -.35 -.11 -.02 -.10 -.07 + .09 M3 -.39 -.21 -.53 -.30 -.60 -.25 M4 -.57 -.29 -.61 -.07 -.44 -.21 MT -.61 -.43 -.55 -.31 -.41 -.24 i d e n t i f i e d , but no one else correlates with 3's errors. A l l pairs not including 3 correlate s i g n i f i c a n t l y with readers 3 and 4 and the t o t a l score or at least come very close to a s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n . Correlations between coherence errors i d e n t i f i e d by any reader i n a t r i o and scores show the same tendancies as did the correlations for pairs of readers. Table 4 shows these correlations and that between 56 the t o t a l of coherence errors i d e n t i f i e d by at least one reader and the score received by the paper. Again, reader 2 TABLE 4 CORRELATIONS BETWEEN SCORES AND COHERENCE ERRORS IDENTIFIED BY ONE OR MORE READERS OF A PAIR OR A TRIO N = 15 (p< .05 when r :> .44) Scores Coherence Errors E123 E124 E134 E234 E1234 Ml -.45 -.22 -.49 -.11 -.33 M2 -.09 -.04 + .15 + .03 + .15 M3 -.15 -.57 -.27 -.39 -.30 M4 -.17 -.58 -.24 -.20 -.19 MT -.30 -.53 -.31 -.27 -.26 shows no s i g n i f i c a n t correlations with any of the groups of i d e n t i f i e d coherence errors. Reader 1 correlated only with those t r i o s including himself and reader 3, and readers 3 and 4 and the t o t a l score correlated s i g n i f i c a n t l y only with the groups of errors not including the ones i d e n t i f i e d by 3. 57 F r o m t h e s e r e s u l t s we c a n c o n c l u d e t h a t t h e h o l i s t i c s c o r e s a n d t h e c o h e r e n c e e r r o r s i d e n t i f i e d b y t h e r e a d e r s a r e n o t c l o s e l y r e l a t e d . T h e o n l y s t r o n g c o r r e l a t i o n i s b e t w e e n t o t a l s c o r e a n d e r r o r s a g r e e d o n b y a l l f o u r r e a d e r s , b u t a g a i n , t h e r e w e r e o n l y t w e l v e c a s e s o f s u c h a g r e e m e n t . T h e r e a r e o t h e r , w e a k e r c o r r e l a t i o n s , b u t t h e g e n e r a l t e n d a n c y i s f o r t h e s c o r e n o t t o c o r r e l a t e w i t h t h e e r r o r s i d e n t i f i e d b y a p a r t i c u l a r r e a d e r , w i t h r e a d e r 1 b e i n g t h e o n l y e x c e p t i o n t o t h i s t e n d a n c y . A s w e l l a s n o t b e i n g r e l i a b l e i n t e r m s o f i d e n t i f y i n g e r r o r s i n p r o p o r t i o n t o s c o r e s g i v e n , t h e r e a d e r s s h o w e d v e r y p o o r a g r e e m e n t a m o n g t h e m s e l v e s i n t e r m s o f s c o r e s g i v e n . T h e i n t e r - r a t e r r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t f o r t h e f i f t e e n e s s a y s i n t h i s s e c t i o n o f t h e e x p e r i m e n t w a s . 6 4 . B e t w e e n p a i r s o f r e a d e r s , o n l y t h e c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n 3 a n d 4 w a s o v e r . 3 5 . T h i s h i g h e r c o r r e l a t i o n w a s . 5 1 , a p p r o x i m a t e l y t h e l e v e l o f c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n p a i r s i n d i c a t e d a s n o r m a l b y D i e d e r i c h ( 1 9 7 4 : 3 3 ) . I f t h i s l e v e l o f c o r r e l a t i o n f o r t h e f i f t e e n e s s a y s s e e m s l o w , t h e l e v e l o f c o r r e l a t i o n f o r t h e f o r t y - e i g h t e s s a y s i s e v e n l o w e r . T h e i n t e r - r a t e r r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t f o r t h i s g r o u p i s . 5 2 . T h e h i g h e s t c o r r e l a t i o n f o r a n y p a i r i s a g a i n b e t w e e n r e a d e r s 3 a n d 4 , a t . 3 7 . T a b l e 5 s h o w s t h e c o r r e l a t i o n m a t r i x f o r b o t h g r o u p s o f e s s a y s . 58 TABLE 5 CORRELATIONS BETWEEN READERS FOR 48 AND (15) ESSAYS Ml M2 M3 M4 Ml 1.00 M2 .19(.06) 1.00 M3 .25(.29) .16(.31) 1.00 M4 .25(.35) .12(.35) .37(.51) 1.00 7.2 Feature/score correlations The wide v a r i a t i o n i n scores given by the readers indicates strongly that they were not always responding to the same aspects of the texts. Furthermore, the absence of strong correlations between scores given by readers and the s p e c i f i c coherence errors they i d e n t i f i e d indicates they were not always conscious of what aspects of the text they were responding to. Consequently, I tested the essays for a wide variety of features, hoping to discover strong correlations between features and scores which would indicate that one or more readers were responding to p a r t i c u l a r features. Features tested for include purely 59 physical features, such as t o t a l number of words per essay, t o t a l number of paragraphs per essay, and average words per paragraph. Testing for these features i s based on my doubt that, i n spite of s p e c i f i c instructions to do so, the markers actually marked only for coherence. The second group of features tested for are those which may i n d i r e c t l y a f f e c t coherence judgments or which may co-occur with features that do af f e c t coherence but which are themselves not t h e o r e t i c a l l y s a t i s f y i n g explanations of coherence. These features include the indices of s t y l i s t i c maturity suggested by Hunt (1964) and Christensen (1968) and tested for co r r e l a t i o n with o v e r a l l quality judgments by Faigley (1979a,b,1980): words per T-unit, words per clause, clauses per T-unit, percentage of t o t a l words i n f i n a l free modifiers, and percentage of T-units containing f i n a l free modifiers. They also include common handbook suggestions for good writing, such as the avoidance of the use of the verb "to be", avoidance of the passive, and avoidance of nominal constructions. These features were s t a t i s t i c a l l y analysed as percentage of T-units with "to be" as the verb i n the main clause, t o t a l passive constructions over T-units, and percentage of t o t a l words i n nominal constructions. The rest of the features tested for are ones that seem l i k e l y to have a bearing on coherence, many of them having 60 b e e n s u g g e s t e d a s c o h e r e n c e f a c t o r s b y o n e o r m o r e t h e o r i s t s . T h e s e f e a t u r e s i n c l u d e s e m a n t i c a l l y a n o m a l o u s s e n t e n c e s p e r e s s a y , p e r c e n t a g e o f t o t a l w o r d s i n d e i c t i c t i e s ( d e i c t i c t i e s b e i n g r e f e r e n c e s t o w o r d s o r g r a m m a t i c a l e l e m e n t s i n t h e p r e v i o u s d i s c o u r s e ) , v i o l a t i o n s o f t h e g i v e n / n e w c o n t r a c t p e r h u n d r e d w o r d s , a n d p e r c e n t a g e o f t o t a l p r o p o s i t i o n s t h e r e a d e r m u s t i n f e r . F e a t u r e s a l s o i n c l u d e d w e r e r o u g h m e a s u r e s o f o r g a n i z a t i o n a n d d e v e l o p m e n t . D e v e l o p m e n t w a s m e a s u r e d a s t h e p e r c e n t a g e o f a l l n o u n p h r a s e s h a v i n g a d e f i n i t e r e f e r e n c e , w h i l e o r g a n i z a t i o n w a s j u d g e d b y a s s i g n i n g a s c o r e t o e a c h . e s s a y b a s e d o n t h e p r e s e n c e o r a b s e n s e o f t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n a n d c o n c l u s i o n a n d w h e t h e r t h e n u m b e r o f t o p i c s d i s c u s s e d d i v i d e d e v e n l y i n t o t h e n u m b e r o f p a r a g r a p h s i n t h e b o d y o f t h e e s s a y . T h e w i d e v a r i e t y o f f e a t u r e s t e s t e d f o r r e s u l t e d f r o m t h e w i d e v a r i a t i o n i n t h e h o l i s t i c g r a d e s g i v e n . F a r f r o m a c h i e v i n g my o r i g i n a l o b j e c t i v e , t h e d i s c o v e r y o f a d e f i n i t i o n o f c o h e r e n c e i m p l i c i t i n t h e m a r k i n g o f a g r o u p o f E n g l i s h t e a c h e r s , t h e c o r r e l a t i o n s o f t h e f e a t u r e s a n d t h e g r a d e s g i v e n s i m p l y p r o v i d e s o m e n o t i o n o f w h a t t h e m a r k e r s r e s p o n d e d t o w h e n a s k e d t o j u d g e c o h e r e n c e . T h u s , t h i s s t u d y r e s u l t e d n o t i n a c l e a r e r n o t i o n o f w h a t c o n s t i t u t e s c o h e r e n c e i n s t u d e n t w r i t i n g , b u t r a t h e r i n a c l e a r e r p i c t u r e o f t h e s t a t e o f c o n f u s i o n s u r r o u n d i n g t h e 6 1 t e r m a n d o f t h e n e e d f o r a t h e o r e t i c a l g u i d e t o c o h e r e n c e f o r c o m p o s i t i o n i n s t r u c t o r s . 7 . 2 . 1 P h y s i c a l f e a t u r e s A s i t a p p e a r e d t h a t t h e m a r k e r s h a d r e s p o n d e d t o a v a r i e t y o f t h i n g s i n j u d g i n g t h e e s s a y s , I d e c i d e d t o t e s t f e a t u r e s f r o m a s m a n y a s p e c t s o f t h e t e x t a s p o s s i b l e , e v e n t o t h e p o i n t o f t e s t i n g l e n g t h , n u m b e r o f p a r a g r a p h s , a n d l e n g t h o f p a r a g r a p h s . T h e s e I c o n s i d e r e d p h y s i c a l f e a t u r e s , n o t l i k l y t o b e a r o n t h e q u e s t i o n o f c o h e r e n c e , t h o u g h F a i g l e y ( 1 9 7 9 b ) d o e s d e t e r m i n e t h a t l e n g t h c o n t r i b u t e s t o o v e r a l l q u a l i t y j u d g m e n t s . A s w a s t h e c a s e w i t h m o s t o f t h e f e a t u r e s , i t w a s u n l i k l y t h a t a n y r e s p o n s e t o t h e s e f e a t u r e s o n t h e p a r t o f t h e m a r k e r s w a s c o n s c i o u s . We a r e a l l f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e i d e a o f t h r o w i n g a s e t o f e s s a y s d o w n a s t a i r w a y a n d m a r k i n g i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h t h e i r f i n a l r e s t i n g s p o t s . M o s t o f u s p r o b a b l y s u s p e c t e d o u r i n s t r u c t o r s o f m a r k i n g t h i s w a y a t s o m e t i m e i n o u r s t u d e n t c a r e e r s , a n d n o d o u b t o u r s t u d e n t s o c c a s i o n a l l y s u s p e c t u s o f d o i n g t h e s a m e t h i n g n o m a t t e r h o w c o n v i n c i n g o u r j u s t i f i c a t i o n o f t h e i r m a r k s s e e m s t o u s . F u r t h e r m o r e , w e a r e a l l f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e p r o b l e m o f n o t h i n g t o s a y a n d s e v e r a l h u n d r e d w o r d s t o g o b e f o r e r e a c h i n g a s e e m i n g l y a r b i t r a r y m i n i m u m l e n g t h , e i t h e r a s s t u d e n t s o r a s t e a c h e r s 62 m a r k i n g t h e i r p a p e r s . I n f a c t , t h e r e a p p e a r s t o b e s o m e j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h e b e l i e f s a b o u t m a r k i n g p r o c e d u r e s a n d r e w a r d s f o r c a r e f u l p a d d i n g . I n F a i g l e y ' s ( 1 9 7 9 b ) s t u d y o n g e n e r a t i v e r h e t o r i c a n d s y n t a c t i c m a t u r i t y , h e c o n c l u d e d , t h r o u g h a m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s ( o n e w h i c h d e t e r m i n e s w h a t p r o p o r t i o n o f a g i v e n e f f e c t c a n b e a c c o u n t e d f o r b y e a c h f e a t u r e ) t h a t t h e l e n g t h o f a n e s s a y a c c o u n t e d f o r t h r e e p e r c e n t o f t h e o v e r a l l q u a l i t y j u d g m e n t . W h i l e I am n o t t e s t i n g t h e f e a t u r e s a g a i n s t a n o v e r a l l q u a l i t y j u d g m e n t , b u t r a t h e r a g a i n s t a c o h e r e n c e j u d g m e n t , t h e r e a r e s t i l l s o m e r e a s o n s t o s u p p o s e t h a t o v e r a l l l e n g t h m i g h t b e a p r e d i c t o r o f t h e h o l i s t i c g r a d e s , i n s p i t e o f t h e u n a t t r a c t i v e n e s s o f t h a t f e a t u r e f o r a t h e o r y a s a n a t t r i b u t e o f c o h e r e n c e . I n f a c t t w o o f t h e f o u r m a r k e r s , t h e t o t a l m a r k a n d t h e E C T m a r k s h o w e d s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n s w i t h t o t a l l e n g t h . O n e p o s s i b i l i t y i s t h a t t h e m a r k e r s w e r e a c t u a l l y r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e o v e r a l l q u a l i t y o f t h e e s s a y s i n s p i t e o f t h e i r i n s t r u c t i o n s t o m a r k f o r c o h e r e n c e . A s e c o n d p o s s i b i l i t y i s t h a t t h e m a r k e r s , e a c h h a v i n g m a r k e d a t l e a s t o n e g r o u p o f p a p e r s f r o m a n E n g l i s h C o m p o s i t i o n T e s t s i t t i n g a n d b e i n g a w a r e t h a t t h e e s s a y s w e r e f r o m s u c h a s i t t i n g , t r e a t e d t h e l e n g t h r e q u i r e m e n t a s s t i l l i n e f f e c t . A t h i r d p o s s i b i l i t y i s t h a t l e n g t h i s a n i n d i r e c t i n d e x o f d e v e l o p m e n t , a f a c t o r w h i c h m a y h a v e t o d o w i t h c o h e r e n c e . 63 The instructions for the essays required that the students deal with two modern inventions they would l i k e to see disinvented. I t i s d i f f i c u l t to see how any essay could adequately develop the reasons for disinventing two inventions i n much less than 300 words. Furthermore, i t i s l i k e l y that the extra words i n a long essay would be put to the task of describing reasons for disinventing things i n greater d e t a i l . Table 6 shows the correlations between scores and the three factors grouped under physical features. While the TABLE 6 CORRELATIONS BETWEEN PHYSICAL FEATURES AND SCORES N = 48 (p<£ .05 when r> .24; p< .01 when r a .33; p-< .001 when r a .43) Features Score s Ml M2 M3 M4 MT ECT words .30 .27 .10 .00 .26 .32 paragraphs .14 -.06 -.03 - .04 -.01 .15 words/para .16 .27 .12 .03 .22 .15 64 t a b l e d o e s s h o w t h a t r e a d e r s r e s p o n d e d f a v o u r a b l y t o l e n g t h i n t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e j u d g m e n t , t h e c o r r e l a t i o n s a r e n o t t e r r i b l y h i g h , o n l y t w o o f t h e f o u r r e a d e r s s h o w i n g s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n s , a n d i t i s n o t c l e a r t h a t t h e y w e r e r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e l e n g t h i t s e l f . A n a l t e r n a t e e x p l a n a t i o n w o u l d b e t h a t b e t t e r w r i t e r s p r o d u c e l o n g e r e s s a y i n t i m e - l i m i t e d w r i t i n g s i t u a t i o n s a n d t h a t t h e c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n s c o r e s a n d . l e n g t h i s a b y - p r o d u c t o f o t h e r f a c t o r s . T e s t i n g p a r a g r a p h s p e r e s s a y w a s b a s e d o n t h e h y p o t h e s i s t h a t t h e m a r k e r s w o u l d h a v e s o m e s o r t o f i d e a l e s s a y s h a p e i n m i n d . A s t h e r e w e r e t w o e x a m p l e s r e q u i r e d b y t h e e s s a y t o p i c , I h y p o t h e s i z e d t h a t t h e m a r k e r s w o u l d b e e x p e c t i n g e s s a y s w i t h i n t r o d u c t o r y a n d c o n c l u d i n g p a r a g r a p h s a n d t w o p a r a g r a p h s i n t h e b o d y . I n f a c t , t h e r e w e r e m a n y e s s a y s w i t h o n l y t h r e e p a r a g r a p h s a n d m a n y w i t h f i v e o r m o r e p a r a g r a p h s , s o i t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t t h e c o r r e l a t i o n s f o r t h i s f e a t u r e a r e v e r y w e a k . A n a l t e r n a t e m e t h o d o f t e s t i n g t h e m w o u l d h a v e b e e n t o a s s i g n a v a l u e o f t w o t o e s s a y s f i t t i n g t h e s u p p o s e d i d e a l f o r m a n d a o n e t o t h o s e n o t f i t t i n g t h a t f o r m . I n t h i s w a y , a s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n w o u l d b e m o r e l i k e l y . A s i t i s , t h i s r e s u l t i s p r a g m a t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n t h a t , a l t h o u g h l e n g t h a n d n u m b e r o f p a r a g r a p h s s h o u l d a . 3 4 c o r r e l a t i o n ( s i g n i f i c a n t a t o r b e y o n d . 0 1 ) , a n d l e n g t h s h o w e d a p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h s c o r e s , t h e n u m b e r o f p a r a g r a p h s d o e s n o t s h o w a 65 p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h s c o r e s . T h i s i n d i c a t e s t h a t h i g h e r - r a t e d e s s a y s a c h i e v e l e n g t h n o t b y a d d i n g p a r a g r a p h s , b u t b y l e n g t h e n i n g ( d e v e l o p i n g ? ) t h e m . T e s t i n g w o r d s p e r p a r a g r a p h i s b a s e d o n t h e i d e a t h a t r e a d e r s w o u l d r e s p o n d f a v o u r a b l y t o l o n g e r p a r a g r a p h s o n t h e b a s i s o f s o m e s o r t o f e s t h e t i c o f t h e p a r a g r a p h . I n f a c t , t h e o n e r e a d e r w h o d o e s c o r r e l a t e s i g n i f i c a n t l y w i t h t h i s f e a t u r e d o e s n o t i n d i c a t e t h a t t h i s o r i g i n a l h y p o t h e s i s i s s u p p o r t e d . I n v i e w o f t h e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t l e n g t h i n h i g h e r - r a t e d e s s a y s i s a c h i e v e d b y p a r a g r a p h d e v e l o p m e n t , a p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n m a y r e s u l t f r o m t h e s a m e f a c t o r s a s d i d t h e c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n l e n g t h a n d s c o r e . I n a n y c a s e , r e a d e r s a p p e a r n o t t o r e s p o n d w e l l t o t h e s h o r t e r p a r a g r a p h s , e v e n t h o u g h m a n y g o o d w r i t e r s , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e w r i t i n g i n n e w s p a p e r s a n d m a g a z i n e s , t e n d t o u s e v e r y s h o r t p a r a g r a p h s w i t h n o d r a s t i c l o s s i n c o h e r e n c e . 7 . 2 . 2 S t y l i s t i c f e a t u r e s A s e c o n d g r o u p o f f e a t u r e s t e s t e d , i n s p i t e o f t h e u n l i k l i h o o d o f t h e i r h a v i n g a n y d i r e c t r e l a t i o n t o c o h e r e n c e , w e r e s t y l i s t i c f e a t u r e s . T h e f i r s t g r o u p o f s t y l i s t i c f e a t u r e s t e s t e d w e r e t h e i n d i c e s o f m a t u r e s y n t a x o r s t y l e . I n K e l l o g g H u n t ' s ( 1 9 6 4 ) s t u d y o f t h e w r i t i n g o f c h i l d r e n a t t h e g r a d e f o u r , e i g h t , a n d t w e l v e l e v e l s , H u n t 66 discovered a p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between the length of T-units and clauses and the age of the writer. Similar relationships between number of clauses per T-unit and age indicated that these writers were achieving length through clausal subordination. Francis Christensen (1968) l a t e r suggested that free f i n a l modifiers, non-restrictive modifiers i n sentence f i n a l p o sition, were also a good index of syntactic maturity (the apparent age l e v e l of the writer as determined by the syntactic features of the wri t i n g ) . A number of d i f f i c u l t i e s e x i s t i n determining the usefulness of these features for predicting o v e r a l l q u a l i t y , not the least of these being the lack of s p e c i f i c instructions for determining T-unit length or agreement over what constitute clauses and f i n a l free modifiers. T-units were developed as a more grammatically consistent unit than the sentence. Whereas sentences can be combined with conjunction, producing very long sentences, T-units are minimal units that can stand on t h e i r own, and thus conjunction does not lengthen them. Consequently, longer T-units indicate embedding, a feature that i s strongly present i n professional writing, while longer sentences may indicate either embedding or conjunction, the l a t t e r feature being less desirable. One of the f i r s t d i f f i c u l t i e s of using T-units i s determing how to deal with proper names (Faigley 1980). Is "the United States of America" f i v e 67 words or one? What about "the U.S.A."? For the purposes of my paper, the f i r s t example i s f i v e words and the second i s two. A second d i f f i c u l t y with both T-units and clauses i s that i n both cases reduced clauses are not considered clauses. Thus, a conjoined sentence lacking a subject following the conjunction i s treated as a single T-unit and, unless there are other clauses embedded, a single clause. This method of counting would appear to i n f l a t e the value, in terms of syntactic maturity, of e l l i p s i s , or at least t h i s p a r t i c u l a r type of e l l i p s i s . Problems with free f i n a l modifiers are of two main types. F i r s t , finding an agreed on d e f i n i t i o n i s d i f f i c u l t . Three advanced writing texts (Hartley and Bentwell 1982, Tufte 1971, and Williams 1981) urge students to use f i n a l free modifiers, but supply d e f i n i t i o n s that are somewhat vague and c l e a r l y d i f f e r e n t from each other. Christensen provides the most useful d e f i n i t i o n , though his i s functional rather than s t r u c t u r a l . I f the modifier adds information about something rather than r e s t r i c t i n g the class of that thing, then i t i s a free modifier. Free modifiers occur i n other positions, but only those i n f i n a l p o s i tion c l e a r l y mark mature s t y l e . The second d i f f i c u l t y i s determining which of the f i n a l modifiers i n student writing are intended to be free and which r e s t r i c t i v e . Free modifiers are set o f f by commas, but frequently student 68 writers do not have a command of the subtleties of meaning involved or of the subtleties of punctuation required for expressing that meaning. In fact, Mina Shaughnessy (1977) suggests that teachers not attempt to deal with such punctuation problems with basic writers u n t i l a f t e r other aspects of writing have been dealt with, in d i c a t i n g that students unable to pass the English Composition Test, though generally not basic writers, perhaps should not be expected to be able to punctuate free f i n a l modifiers consistently or accurately. For the analyst the d i f f i c u l t y i s that being unable to re l y on the punctuation of writers of lower-rated papers may r e s u l t i n missing some free modifiers i n t h e i r writing. If such i s the case, then pos i t i v e correlations between f i n a l free modifiers and scores might have more to do with a b i l i t y to punctuate than with s t y l i s t i c maturity. In order to avoid t h i s problem some mind-reading may be required, though i n the writing sample for t h i s project, few f i n a l modifiers of any type were used i n most papers. Eighteen of the papers contained no free f i n a l modifiers and a further thirteen contained only one. Marker responses to these indices are shown in Table 7. A l l of the readers, the t o t a l score, and the ECT mark correlated p o s i t i v e l y with clause length, though reader 4 and the ECT mark don't reach s t a t i s t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . T-unit length shows only s l i g h t p o s i t i v e correlations with 69 scores and none of these are s i g n i f i c a n t . Reader 1 and the t o t a l score correlate negatively with clauses per T-unit, as we would expect with clause length being responded to i n a greater degree than T-unit length. Interestingly, only one TABLE 7 CORRELATIONS BETWEEN INDICES OF SYNTACTIC MATURITY AND SCORES N = 48 (p< .05 when r > .24;p~ .01 when r> .33) Features Scores Ml M2 M3 M4 MT ECT words/clause .27 .29 .25 .19 .38 .238 words/T-unit .08 .08 .18 .12 .19 .06 clauses/T-unit -.26 -.21 -.11 -.12 -.26 -.19 words i n ffm -.16 .237 -.05 -.19 -.05 -.02 % T-units with ffm -.15 .22 .03 -.17 -.01 -.02 of the readers seems to have responded to increased clause length i n the form of f i n a l free modifiers. Reader 2 correlates just short of s t a t i s t i c a l significance with both percentage of words i n free f i n a l modifiers and with 70 percentage of T-units containing free f i n a l modifiers. The rest of the readers, the t o t a l score, and the ECT mark generally showed negative correlations, though none were s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t . Two questions p e r s i s t regarding these indices of mature st y l e . The f i r s t i s whether or not they actually determine mature s t y l e , and the second i s whether or not they contribute p o s i t i v e l y to o v e r a l l writing quality judgments. A t h i r d question, to be dealt with l a t e r , i s whether or not syntactic maturity has anything at a l l to do with coherence. Objections to the term "mature s t y l e " are presented by Mellon (1969). He presents research that indicates that children exposed to sentence combining exercises i n conjuntion with i n s t r u c t i o n i n transformational grammar showed increased a b i l i t y to manipulate syntactic structures, a s k i l l c a l l e d by Mellon "syntactic fluency." He argues, however, that syntactic fluency and mature style are not the same thing, and that sentence combining should not be part of composition i n s t r u c t i o n . O'Donnell (1976) c r i t i c i z e s the use of Hunt's three main indices of syntactic maturity on the grounds that they are too gross—they lump too many processes into one s t a t i s t i c . Thus heavy clausal subordination w i l l add more words to T-units than w i l l heavy phrasal subordination, though the l a t t e r appears to be preferred by more experienced writers. B r i t t o n (1978) notes 71 that experienced writers vary the length of T-units according to t h e i r purposes. Thus, i t i s questionable whether or not these indices are actually useful measures of mature style.' Faigley (1979a), acting on the assumption that the indices are v a l i d , presents research that indicates increases i n syntactic maturity coincide with increases i n h o l i s t i c ratings. Clause and T-unit length and words i n f i n a l free modifiers a l l increased i n an experimental section of freshman writing that used Christensen 1s generative r h e t o r i c . Furthermore, the post-test scores of the experimental section were s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than those of the control group. In l a t e r reworkings of the same experimental data, however, Faigley (1979b, 1980) questions how much of the increase i n o v e r a l l grade was actually due to the increases i n syntactic maturity. By performing a multiple regression analysis on the s t a t i s t i c a l data, Faigley determined that Hunt's three indices of syntactic maturity predict less than two percent of the variance i n h o l i s t i c scores (1980). Furthermore, clause per T-unit increases had a very s l i g h t l y negative e f f e c t on o v e r a l l quality judgments (1979b). When the percentage of T-units containing at least one f i n a l free modifier was included as an index of syntactic maturity, those indices predicted less than 20 percent of the o v e r a l l value judgments, sixteen 72 p e r c e n t b e i n g a c c o u n t e d f o r b y t h i s n e w i n d e x . B y c o m p a r i s o n , l e n g t h ( a s n o t e d e a r l i e r ) p r e d i c t e d t h r e e p e r c e n t o f t h e o v e r a l l v a l u e j u d g m e n t , o r a l m o s t a s m u c h a s H u n t ' s t h r e e i n d i c e s a n d C h r i s t e n s e n ' s f i n a l f r e e m o d i f i e r s . T h u s , F a i g l e y i s w i l l i n g t o g o n o f u r t h e r t h a n s a y i n g t h a t i n d i c e s o f s y n t a c t i c m a t u r i t y c o - o c c u r w i t h b u t d o n o t p r e d i c t o v e r a l l q u a l i t y . T h e r e l e v a n c e o f s y n t a c t i c m a t u r i t y . t o t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y i s n o t c l e a r . A g a i n , we m u s t r e m e m b e r t h a t i t i s b y n o m e a n s c l e a r t h a t t h e r e a d e r s w e r e , i n f a c t , r e s p o n d i n g t o c o h e r e n c e w h e n t h e y e v a l u a t e d t h e s e e s s a y s . I f t h e y w e r e r e s p o n d i n g t o o v e r a l l q u a l i t y , t h e n we s h o u l d e x p e c t s o m e c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n g r a d e s a n d t h e s y n t a c t i c m a t u r i t y i n d i c e s , e v e n i f t h e r e i s n o c a u s e a n d e f f e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p . O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , s y n t a c t i c m a t u r i t y m a y b e i n d i r e c t l y c o n n e c t e d t o c o h e r e n c e a s F a i g l e y s u g g e s t s i t i s t o o v e r a l l q u a l i t y . H i s s u g g e s t i o n t h a t t h e u s e o f f i n a l f r e e m o d i f i e r s m a y h e l p s t u d e n t s i n u s i n g d e t a i l i n t h e i r w r i t i n g i n d i c a t e s t h i s f e a t u r e m a y b e c o n n e c t e d w i t h d e v e l o p m e n t , a f e a t u r e t h a t , a g a i n , m a y b e c o n n e c t e d t o c o h e r e n c e . F a i g l e y a l s o n o t e s t h a t a r r a n g e m e n t , p l a c i n g o f i d e a s f o r e m p h a s i s , m a k i n g t r a n s i t i o n s a n d c o n s t r u c t i n g a r g u m e n t s , a l l t h i n g s t h a t s e e m i n t u i t i v e l y l i k e l y t o b e c o n n e c t e d w i t h c o h e r e n c e , c a n n o t b e d e f i n e d i n s e n t e n c e g r a m m a r t e r m s , t h o u g h t h e i r g r o w t h m a y c o - o c c u r w i t h t h e g r o w t h o f s y n t a c t i c m a t u r i t y . 73 What i s clear with regard to t h i s study i s that these four readers did not respond strongly to syntactic maturity, perhaps i n d i c a t i n g they scored for coherence rather than for ov e r a l l q u a l i t y , or perhaps in d i c a t i n g a lack of s e n s i t i v i t y to s t y l i s t i c features on the part of the readers. A second group of s t y l i s t i c features treated come from the composition handbooks. At best these handbooks provide a series of proscriptions against passives, nominals, and "wordy uses of the verbs 1 to be 1, 'to have', and 'to make'" (Barnet and Stubbs 1980) . Barnet and Stubbs go so far as to say that one of the causes of incoherence i s the wrong use of "to be." Rodman (1981) notes that technical writing textbooks continue to in s t r u c t students not to use the passive even though technical writers publishing i n s c i e n t i f i c journals tend to use that form. The f i g h t against nominals i s s t i l l being carried on by Freeman (1981) i n an a r t i c l e describing a method for lowering the degree of nominalization i n remedial students' essays. These constructions, then, are blamed for obscuring meaning, re s u l t i n g i n poorer writing quality and lower marks. I f these constructions do obscure meaning, then c l e a r l y they are connected with coherence, and we should expect negative correlations between these features and marks. On the other hand, a variety of theorists (including Creider 1979, Jacobs 1969, and Halliday 1967, mentioned 74 a b o v e ) h a v e n o t e d t h a t w o r d o r d e r i n E n g l i s h s e n t e n c e s i s f r e q u e n t l y r e l a t e d t o t h e t e n d e n c y o f E n g l i s h t o p l a c e n e w i n f o r m a t i o n t o w a r d t h e e n d o f s e n t e n c e s . F u r t h e r m o r e , p s y c h o l o g i c a l r e s e a r c h b y W r i g h t ( 1 9 6 9 ) i n d i c a t e s t h a t p a s s i v e s a r e n o h a r d e r t o p r o c e s s t h a n a c t i v e c o n s t r u c t i o n s . S u b j e c t s w e r e a s k e d a c t i v e q u e s t i o n s a f t e r r e c e i v i n g t h e i n f o r m a t i o n i n a c t i v e s e n t e n c e s a n d p a s s i v e q u e s t i o n s a f t e r r e c e i v i n g t h e i n f o r m a t i o n i n p a s s i v e s e n t e n c e s . T h e e r r o r r a t e s w e r e n o t s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t . I f t h e s e c o n s t r u c t i o n s a r e r e l a t e d t o t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f g i v e n , a n d n e w i n f o r m a t i o n ( t h o u g h i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o s e e h o w t h e u s e o f " t o b e " a s a m a i n v e r b w o u l d b e ) , a n d i f t h e y d o n o t o b s c u r e m e a n i n g , t h e n w e s h o u l d e x p e c t t h e m t o s h o w p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n s w i t h g r a d e s . T o t e s t t h e u s a g e o f " t o b e " a s m a i n v e r b , I d i v i d e d t h e n u m b e r o f s u c h o c c u r r e n c e s i n t h e m a i n c l a u s e s o f T - u n i t s b y t o t a l T - u n i t s . T o t e s t t h e r a t e o f p a s s i v i z a t i o n , I d i v i d e d t h e n u m b e r o f p a s s i v e c o n s t r u c t i o n s b y T - u n i t s . T h e r e a s o n f o r t h e d i f f e r e n c e i n t h e t r e a t m e n t o f p a s s i v e s a n d " t o b e " i s t h a t , w h i l e p a s s i v e c o n s t r u c t i o n s c a n o c c u r m o r e t h a n o n c e i n a c l a u s e i f r e d u c e d f o r m s a r e b e i n g c o u n t e d a s w e l l , t h e m a i n v e r b i n a c l a u s e c a n o c c u r o n l y o n c e . H a d I c o u n t e d a l l t h e o c c u r r e n c e s o f " t o b e " a s a f u l l v e r b , I w o u l d h a v e h a d t o p u t t h e m o v e r c l a u s e s t o g e t a r a t i o t h a t w o u l d n o t c o n f u s e r a t e o f s u b o r d i n a t i o n 75 with the feature I was try i n g to t e s t . Since every T-unit has a main clause, and only one, and since the main clause tends to carry the main information of the sentence, counting only those uses i n main clauses seemed the most useful and consistent way to proceed. To test the rate of nominalization, I counted the t o t a l number of words i n nominal constructions (including attached determiners, adjectives, and prepositions) and divided by the number of words i n the essay, f i n a l l y multiplying the r e s u l t i n g r a t i o by 100 to ar r i v e at the percentage of t o t a l words i n nominal constructions. Table 8 shows the correlations between these features and grades. TABLE 8 CORRELATIONS BETWEEN SCORES AND HANDBOOK INSTRUCTIONS ON STYLE N = 48 (p< .05 when r2 .24; p< .01 when r> .33; p< .001 when r 2 .43) Features Scores Ml M2 M3 M4 MT ECT use of "to be" .17 .12 .05 .23 .20 .30 pass i v i z a t i o n -.07 .04 .00 .01 -.01 -.08 nominalization .31 .22 .40 .16 .44 .45 76 Passivization showed no tendancies either way. The reason for t h i s inconclusiveness may be that the simple number of passives i s less important then whether they were used i n legitimate ways (see Rodman 1981). The res u l t s for nominalization, showing some f a i r l y strong posi t i v e correlations, support the findings of Hake and Williams (1981; see above) and indicate that we are not doing our students favours by helping them lower t h e i r rates of nominalization. A very i n t e r e s t i n g r e s u l t i s that the ECT mark showed a po s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n with the number of uses of "to be" as the main verb. The rest of the scores showed only non-significant p o s i t i v e correlations, though reader 4's c o r r e l a t i o n was close to significance. I t i s d i f f i c u l t to determine why ECT markers would favour the use of "to be." A possible explanation i s that "to be" i s frequently used i n defining and c l a r i f y i n g terms and, consequently, i s related to development. Another possible explanation, as the ECT mark i s not r e f l e c t i v e of coherence only, i s that "to be" sentences are easier for poorer writers to handle, thus normally containing fewer errors. A better explanation might be obtained by analysing the content of the essays to determine the situations i n which "to be" frequently occurs. The preference for more heavily nominalized essays coincides with the preference for longer clauses. Extending clause length with f i n a l free modifiers seems to have been less 77 s u c c e s s f u l t h a n w i t h n o m i n a l i z a t i o n . 7 . 2 . 3 C o h e r e n c e f e a t u r e s T h e r e m a i n i n g f e a t u r e s h a v e t o d o w i t h t h e s e m a n t i c s o f t h e t e x t a n d t h u s m i g h t b e e x p e c t e d t o r e l a t e t o c o h e r e n c e . F u r t h e r m o r e , m a n y o f t h e m h a v e b e e n l i n k e d t o c o h e r e n c e b y o n e o r m o r e t h e o r i s t s . T h e f i r s t o f t h e s e f e a t u r e s i s t h e n u m b e r o f s e m a n t i -c a l l y a n o m a l o u s s e n t e n c e s . I t s e e m s l i k e l y , i n t u i t i v e l y , t h a t i f a n e s s a y i s m a d e u p o f s e n t e n c e s t h a t d o n o t s a y w h a t i t a p p e a r s t h e a u t h o r w a s t r y i n g t o s a y , t h e e s s a y w i l l b e d i f f i c u l t t o f o l l o w , a n d t h u s m i g h t b e j u d g e d i n c o h e r e n t . M y c r i t e r i a f o r c h o o s i n g s u c h s e n t e n c e s w a s v e r y s i m p l e . I f I , t a k i n g t h e r o l e o f a s y m p a t h e t i c r e a d e r , w e r e u n a b l e t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e s e n t e n c e , o r i f c o n t e x t m a d e i t c l e a r t h a t t h e s e n t e n c e d i d n o t s a y w h a t t h e a u t h o r i n t e n d e d i t t o s a y , 9 t h e n I c o n s x d e r e d i t s e m a n t i c a l l y a n o m a l o u s . T h e s e c o n d o f t h e c o h e r e n c e f e a t u r e s i s o r g a n i z a t i o n . T o q u a n t i f y t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e s e e s s a y s i n a g r o s s w a y , I a s s u m e d a n i d e a l s h o r t e s s a y , h a v i n g a n i n t r o d u c t i o n , a c o n c l u s i o n , a n d a p a r a g r a p h f o r e a c h p o i n t b e i n g m a d e . O n e p o i n t w a s g i v e n f o r t h e p r e s e n c e o f e a c h o f t h e s e f e a t u r e s , g i v i n g a r a n g e o f z e r o t o t h r e e p o i n t s f o r e a c h p a p e r . G e n e r a l l y , t h e p a p e r s f i t t h i s i d e a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , 78 t h i r t y - t h r e e papers receiving a three rating, eleven a two, three a one, and one a zero. Only reader 2 correlated s i g n i f i c a n t l y with t h i s feature, p o s i t i v e l y as we would expect. As with the previous feature, the low number of papers showing problems i n t h i s area may account for the lower correlations with other markers and also indicates that t h i s feature i s just one of several a f f e c t i n g reader 2 1s judgment. TABLE 9 CORRELATIONS BETWEEN COHERENCE FEATURES AND SCORES N = 48 (p< .05 when r_l .24; p< .01 when r_ .33; p< .001 when r> .43) Features Scores Ml M2 M3 M4 MT ECT anom. sentences -.17 -.36 -.16 -.22 -.34 -.43 organization +.03 +.30 +.16 -.05 +.19 +.21 development +.07 -.13 +.31 +.21 +.20 +.08 d e i c t i c t i e s +.14 -.18 -.30 -.40 -.30 -.15 vi o l a t i o n s giv/new -.06 -.22 -.21 -.16 -.26 -.238 inference l e v e l -.05 -.10 -.06 +.20 -.02 -.15 79 A t h i r d feature of t h i s group i s development, which was found by Freedman (1979) to be one of the strongest features a f f e c t i n g marks given by English teachers. Likewise, Faigley and Witte's (1981) study of re v i s i o n found that one of the s i g n i f i c a n t differences between the writing of professionals and students was the stronger tendency of the professionals to develop t h e i r general statements with s p e c i f i c d e t a i l s . I f development through the use of s p e c i f i c d e t a i l s bears on o v e r a l l q u a l i t y , then does i t bear on coherence? Van Dijk (1977) suggests that one factor of coherence i s the degree to which we must i n f e r and the amount of world knowledge we have on a subject to allow the inferences. Fillmore (1977) argues that even i n a competence theory of semantics, r e a l world knowledge i s required for a complete understanding of a word. Clark (1977) argues that i n order to understand a text, the l i s t e n e r must search memory for an antecedent that matches the given information i n each sentence. This antecedent may be derived from the previous discourse or i t may be part of the l i s t e n e r ' s r e a l world knowledge. Taking into account the findings of Hupet and LeBouedec (1977) that more accessible antecedents lead to better memory for complex ideas, i t seems clear that coherence and the s p e c i f i c i t y or definiteness of referents are clos e l y related. Furthermore, Y u i l l e and Pavio (1969) determined that abstractness, 80 d e t e r m i n e d b y s i x j u d g e s o n a s e v e n p o i n t s c a l e ( n o c r i t e r i a w e r e p r e s e n t e d ) , a d v e r s e l y a f f e c t e d t h e a b i l i t y o f s u b j e c t s t o r e c a l l s e n t e n c e s . T h u s s p e c i f i c i t y a n d d e f i n i t e n e s s s e e m r e l a t e d b o t h t o o v e r a l l q u a l i t y j u d g m e n t s a n d t o c o h e r e n c e . S p e c i f i c d e t a i l s a r e a l s o l i k e l y t o l e a d t o a l o w e r l e v e l o f a b s t r a c t n e s s a n d t h u s t o g r e a t e r r e c a l l a b i l i t y , r e c a l l a b i l i t y a n d c o h e r e n c e a p p e a r i n g t o b e r e l a t e d i n s o m e n o t y e t w e l l - d e f i n e d w a y . A t e s t o f d e v e l o p m e n t t h r o u g h u s e o f s p e c i f i c d e t a i l s , a s m e a s u r e d b y t h e r a t i o o f d e f i n i t e n o u n p h r a s e s o v e r a l l n o u n p h r a s e s , i s o n e o f t h e f e a t u r e s t h a t s h o u l d c o r r e l a t e w i t h c o h e r e n c e j u d g m e n t s . W h i l e s p e c i f i c d e t a i l s a r e l i k e l y t o l e a d t o g r e a t e r c o n c r e t e n e s s , a b s t r a c t n o u n s m a y b e d e f i n i t e . I n ( 1 5 ) ( 1 5 ) J o h n ' s d e s i r e f o r a c a r . . . d e s i r e i s a n a b s t r a c t n o u n . H o w e v e r , t h e r e f e r e n t o f d e s i r e i s d e f i n i t e ; i t b e l o n g s t o a d e f i n i t e p e r s o n a n d h a s a s p e c i f i c o b j e c t . O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , n o r m a l l y c o n c r e t e n o u n s m a y g a i n a s o r t o f a b s t r a c t n e s s b y b e i n g u s e d g e n e r i c a l l y : ( 1 6 ) T h e a u t o m o b i l e h a s m a d e l i f e t o o e a s y f o r t h o s e w h o d r i v e . ( e s s a y 2 2 ) ( 1 7 ) F u r t h e r m o r e t h e a u t o m o b i l e c a n b e c o m e a d e a d l y m a c h i n e . ( e s s a y 4 3 ) C l e a r l y , t h e a u t h o r s h a v e n o d e f i n i t e o r s p e c i f i c a u t o m o b i l e i n m i n d i n t h e s e s e n t e n c e s . I n s t e a d , t h e y h a v e a b s t r a c t e d a n o t i o n f r o m a l l e x i s t i n g a u t o m o b i l e s . I f d e f i n i t e n e s s i s r e l a t e d t o c o h e r e n c e , t h e n a h i g h d e f i n i t e n e s s r a t i o , a s 81 would be found i n papers with few sentences l i k e (16) and (17), should correlate p o s i t i v e l y with the grades. Chafe (1972) presents a set of c r i t e r i a for determining definiteness. A noun i s d e f i n i t e when i t s referent i s proper and unique, when i t i s present to both speaker and hearer (when i t i s part of world knowledge), when i t has been mentioned previously, and i n some cases when i t i s followed by a r e s t r i c t i v e r e l a t i v e clause. Of these c r i t e r i a , I have reservations about previous mention. In my counting, I considered the second mention of a noun for which I had been previously unable to determine a clear referent a second occurrence of a non-definite noun. At times, the decision on definiteness or non-definiteness was not a clear one. In unclear cases I t r i e d to determine whether or not the referent was locatable i n either time or space, judging d e f i n i t e those that were and i n d e f i n i t e those that were not."^ In fact, definiteness showed a s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n only with reader 3, though reader 4 and the t o t a l score showed correlations close to significance. Reader 2, however, showed a negative c o r r e l a t i o n , not s i g n i f i c a n t , but strongly divergent from the other markers. It may be that the markers were not responding to t h i s sort of development, but rather were responding to other factors to which the definiteness r a t i o i s related. Furthermore, 82 there are times when such a measure causes some d i f f i c u l t i e s . In (18): (18) Germ warfare, the armageddon of the planet known as Earth, (essay 27) "Earth" must be considered d e f i n i t e , being locatable i n time and space. "Planet" must also be considered d e f i n i t e as i t refers to "Earth." "Armageddon" i s a concept t i e d to a d e f i n i t e time for some Christians, the time when the Lord returns to take His sheep to heaven while consigning the goats to h e l l , and a d e f i n i t e event, the end of human l i f e on earth. I t must also, then, be counted as d e f i n i t e . "Germ warfare" does not appear to be d e f i n i t e . Thus, t h i s sentence fragment has a definiteness r a t i o of .75, much higher than the average throughout the entire sample, and so would be expected to contribute to a higher grade for the essay i f definiteness i s a po s i t i v e factor i n coherence judgments. However, we do not want our students writing even grammatically complete sentences l i k e (18), and three of the four markers i d e n t i f i e d (18) as a source of coherence problems. A fourth semantic feature i s the concentration of d e i c t i c t i e s . D e i c t i c t i e s are related to Halliday and Hasan's (197 6) notion of cohesive t i e s . However, where Halliday and Hasan s p e c i f i c a l l y exclude t i e s within sentences, c a l l i n g them a part of sentence grammar rather 83 t h a n o f t h e s e m a n t i c s t r u c t u r e o f t h e t e x t , I h a v e f o l l o w e d F i l l m o r e ' s (1975) n o t i o n o f d i s c o u r s e d e i x i s a n d i n c l u d e d a n y e l e m e n t , l e x i c a l o r g r a m m a t i c a l , r e f e r r i n g t o o t h e r e l e m e n t s i n t h e o n g o i n g d i s c o u r s e . B e c a u s e t h e r e a d e r s i n t h i s p r o j e c t w e r e r e a d i n g t h e p a p e r s o n c e t h r o u g h o n l y , I c o u n t e d o n l y t h e r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e p r e v i o u s p o r t i o n o f t h e d i s c o u r s e . T h e r e s u l t s f o r t h i s f e a t u r e i n d i c a t e p o s s i b l e p r o b l e m s w i t h my f o r m u l a t i o n o f t h e f e a t u r e , a s r e a d e r s 3 a n d 4 a n d t h e t o t a l s c o r e s h o w e d s i g n i f i c a n t n e g a t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n s w i t h t h e f e a t u r e , t h e e x a c t o p p o s i t e o f w h a t o u g h t t o h a v e h a p p e n e d , e s p e c i a l l y i n l i g h t o f W i t t e a n d F a i g l e y ' s (1981) d i s c o v e r y t h a t h i g h e r - r a t e d e s s a y s c o n t a i n e d m o r e a n d m o r e v a r i e d c o h e s i v e t i e s . A r e - a n a l y s i o f t h e p a p e r s u s i n g H a l l i d a y a n d H a s a n ' s e x h a u s t i v e a n a l y s i m o r e s t r i c t l y , a s W i t t e a n d F a i g l e y d i d , w o u l d i n d i c a t e w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e u n u s u a l r e s u l t i s d u e t o p r o b l e m s i n t h e a n a l y s i s . A f u r t h e r p o s s i b i l i t y i s t h a t t h i s f e a t u r e w o u l d t e n d , e v e n i f m o r e c l o s e l y a l i g n e d t o H a l l i d a y a n d H a s a n ' s f o r m u l a t i o n , t o v a l u e e s s a y s w h i c h a r e r e p e t i t i v e a n d l a c k i n g i n c o n t e n t . I n a n y c a s e , a r e - a n a l y s i s w o u l d b e r e q u i r e d b e f o r e a n y c o n c l u s i o n s c o u l d b e d r a w n . T h e f i f t h s e m a n t i c f e a t u r e i s t h e n u m b e r o f v i o l a t i o n s o f t h e g i v e n / n e w c o n t r a c t . I f m a i n t e n a n c e o f t h e g i v e n / n e w c o n t a c t l e a d s t o c o h e r e n c e a s s u g g e s t e d i n t h e t h r e e a r t i c l e s o f C l a r k a n d H a v i l a n d ( H a v i l a n d a n d C l a r k 1974, 84 Clark and Haviland 1977, and Clark 1977), then we should expect v i o l a t i o n s of the given/new contract to correlate negatively with grades given for coherence. In f a c t , the t o t a l score shows a s i g n i f i c a n t negative c o r r e l a t i o n with the number of v i o l a t i o n s , though none of the i n d i v i d u a l scores do. As with organization and semantically anomalous sentences, t h i s feature might have been more s i g n i f i c a n t had there been more cases of v i o l a t i o n s . In a l l , f i f t y - f i v e v i o l a t i o n s were discovered. Nineteen of the essays had none, fourteen had one, ten had two, two had three, and one each had four, f i v e , and s i x . One of the d i f f i c u l t i e s with counting t h i s feature was that by the time I did count the v i o l a t i o n s , I had already read the papers a number of times. Noting Gentner's (1976) unsurprising discovery that subjects remembered more of a given passage on each successive hearing, the low number of v i o l a t i o n s found might be a function of my f a m i l i a r i t y with the papers. On the other hand, the v i o l a t i o n s I did discover were l i k e l y very clear v i o l a t i o n s and ones the markers would have been sure to have noticed. The f i n a l semantic feature tested i s the inferred proposition r a t i o , a feature suggested by the work of Crothers (1978, 1979). The r a t i o i s the number of propositions a reader must i n f e r over a l l those, i m p l i c i t and e x p l i c i t , that make up the underlying structure of the 85 text. This feature i s clos e l y related to the notion of the given/new contract. Haviland and Clark's work indicates that even when the receiver of a sentence i s unable to locate the antecedent of the given information i n memory, the receiver may s t i l l be able to understand the message by making an implicature. B a r r i t and K r o l l (1978) note that the lack of immediate response i n a writing s i t u a t i o n forces the writer to determine i n advance how much information the reader w i l l need, or, i n other terms, what inferences can be reasonably expected. Chafe (1974), Goodin and Perkins (1982), and Faigley and Witte (1981) a l l discuss, i n s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t terminology, the problem of determining what constitutes a plausible inference for an intended receiver, while Nilsen (1974) claims the a b i l i t y to use implication i s one of the differences between human and animal communication. Fillmore (1977) notes the d i f f i c u l t i e s of distinguishing i n a semantic analysis which information i s actually presented and which the receiver adds to i t . Frederiksen (1975b) presents evidence that people include inferred information when r e c a l l i n g a text. Testing the r a t i o of inferred propositions over a l l propositions was intended to discover whether incoherence might be conditional simply on the amount of information the reader i s forced to i n f e r . The res u l t s on Table 9 c l e a r l y show that coherence judgments did not correlate at a l l 86 s t r o n g l y w i t h t h i s f e a t u r e , i n d i c a t i n g t h a t i t i s n o t n u m b e r o f i n f e r e n c e s t h a t a f f e c t s c o h e r e n c e , b u t p e r h a p s t h e t y p e o f i n f e r e n c e s r e q u i r e d o r t h e i r h i e r a r c h i c a l i m p o r t a n c e . ^ " ' " 87 8 . C o n c l u s i o n s T h e r e s u l t s o f t h i s s t u d y i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e g r o u p o f r e a d e r s w h o s e j u d g m e n t s w e r e t e s t e d h a v e n o s t r o n g l y s h a r e d n o t i o n o f c o h e r e n c e . I n t h e f i r s t p l a c e , w h e n s c o r i n g i n d e p e n d e n t l y , t h e r e a d e r s s h o w e d a v e r y l o w l e v e l o f a g r e e m e n t , b o t h a s a g r o u p a n d b e t w e e n p a i r s . F u r t h e r m o r e , w h e n a s k e d t o i n d i c a t e t h e s p e c i f i c c o h e r e n c e e r r o r s p r e s u m a b l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e i r j u d g m e n t s , t h e n u m b e r o f e r r o r s i n d i c a t e d b y e a c h r e a d e r b o r e u s u a l l y w e a k a n d s o m e t i m e s e r r a t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p s t o t h e r e s p e c t i v e s c o r e s , f u r t h e r s u p p o r t i n g t h e c o n t e n t i o n o f F r e e d m a n ( 1 9 7 9 ) t h a t t h e p a r t s o f e s s a y s t h a t E n g l i s h t e a c h e r s c o n c e n t r a t e o n i n t e a c h i n g a n d i n d i c a t i n g e r r o r s a n d t h o s e p a r t s t h e y a c t u a l l y r e s p o n d t o w h e n h o l i s t i c a l l y s c o r i n g a r e f r e q u e n t l y n o t t h e s a m e . T h e s e r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e a n e e d f o r t e a c h e r s o f E n g l i s h t o b e c o m e m o r e a w a r e o f t h e a s p e c t s o f w r i t i n g t h a t a r e i m p o r t a n t t o r e a d e r s , b o t h c r i t i c a l r e a d e r s s u c h a s t h e m s e l v e s a n d t h o s e s i m p l y s e e k i n g i n f o r m a t i o n . T h i s n e e d b r i n g s u s t o t h e s e c o n d s e t o f r e s u l t s , t h o s e w h i c h i n d i c a t e t h e f e a t u r e s p r e s e n t o r a b s e n t i n t h e h i g h -88 a n d l o w - r a t e d e s s a y s . T h e t o t a l s c o r e s h o w e d s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n s w i t h s e v e n o f t h e s e v e n t e e n f e a t u r e s t e s t e d f o r , w i t h p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n s w i t h e s s a y l e n g t h , c l a u s e l e n g t h , a n d n o m i n a l i z a t i o n r a t e , a n d n e g a t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n s w i t h c l a u s a l s u b o r d i n a t i o n , n u m b e r o f a n o m a l o u s s e n t e n c e s a n d v i o l a t i o n s o f t h e g i v e n / n e w c o n t r a c t , a n d r a t e o f d e i c t i c t i e s . T h e p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n s a n d t h e n e g a t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h c l a u s a l s u b o r d i n a t i o n s e e m t o i n d i c a t e t h a t a s a g r o u p t h e r e a d e r s w e r e n o t s i m p l y r e a c t i n g t o s o m e n o t i o n o f c o h e r e n c e , b u t a l s o t o f e a t u r e s o f s y n t a c t i c s t r u c t u r e a n d p h y s i c a l s t r u c t u r e . T h e s e r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e t h a t f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h s h o u l d b e d o n e t o e x p l o r e p o s s i b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n s y n t a c t i c s t r u c t u r e a n d c o h e r e n c e , i n c a s e t h e r e a d e r s w e r e a c t u a l l y r e s p o n d i n g t o c o h e r e n c e . T h e n e g a t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h n u m b e r o f a n o m a l o u s s e n t e n c e s i s e n t i r e l y t o b e e x p e c t e d , w h i l e t h e n e g a t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h v i o l a t i o n s o f t h e g i v e n / n e w c o n t r a c t s u p p o r t s t h e a s s e r t i o n o f G o o d i n a n d P e r k i n s ( 1 9 8 2 ) t h a t t h e c o n t r a c t o p e r a t e s i n s t u d e n t w r i t i n g . A r e s e r v a t i o n a b o u t t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e s e l a s t r e s u l t s i s t h a t n o n e o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l r e a d e r s s h o w e d s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n s w i t h t h e v i o l a t i o n s o f t h e g i v e n / n e w c o n t r a c t , a n d o n l y r e a d e r 2 s h o w e d s u c h a c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h s e m a n t i c a l l y a n o m a l o u s s e n t e n c e s . T h u s , we m u s t c o n s i d e r t h e t e n d e n c y t o w a r d s u c h c o r r e l a t i o n s v e r y w e a k a m o n g t h e s e r e a d e r s , i n s p i t e o f t h e c o r r e l a t i o n o f t h e 89 whole group with the features. The negative c o r r e l a t i o n of the t o t a l score with the rate of d e i c t i c t i e s i s disturbing, since the co r r e l a t i o n was expected to be p o s i t i v e . Whereas the negative correlations with d e i c t i c t i e s were the broadest of any of the so-called coherence features, with two of the four i n d i v i d u a l readers as well as the t o t a l score showing s i g n i f i c a n t negative correlations, we must assume that d e i c t i c t i e s , the way I counted them, are not the same as cohesive t i e s , which Witte and Faigley (1981) found to occur more often i n high-rated essays. Thus, the feature must be re-examined and re-tested. The readers frequently did not show s i g n i f i c a n t correlations with the same features. In fact, reader 4 showed a s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n with only one feature, that being the presumably faulty d e i c t i c t i e s . This r e s u l t may indicate that reader 4 tended to respond to errors i n mechanics or problems with t r a n s i t i o n s , both features not tested. The other p o s s i b i l i t y , an unpleasant prospect, i s that t h i s reader's responses were largely a r b i t r a r y . Reader 1 correlated s i g n i f i c a n t l y with only length and syntactic features, i n d i c a t i n g that he was l i k e l y not responding to coherence for the largest part. Reader 2, as well as responding to what I termed physical features and to clause length, shows an appropriate negative c o r r e l a t i o n with 90 a n o m a l o u s s e n t e n c e s a n d a n a p p r o p r i a t e p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h o r g a n i z a t i o n . R e a d e r 3 ' s n o n - s y n t a c t i c r e s p o n s e s w e r e t o d e v e l o p m e n t , a p p r o p r i a t e l y , a n d t o d e i c t i c t i e s , p r o b l e m a t i c a l l y . I n a l l , t h e r e a d e r s d i d n o t t e n d t o r e s p o n d t o t h e s a m e t h i n g s , a n d f u r t h e r m o r e , t h e y d i d n o t g e n e r a l l y r e s p o n d t o t h o s e f e a t u r e s m o s t l i k e l y t o b e c o n n e c t e d t o c o h e r e n c e , i n d i c a t i n g p r o b l e m s e i t h e r w i t h t h e c o h e r e n c e f e a t u r e s o r w i t h t h e r e a d e r s . 91 9 . I m p l i c a t i o n s T h i s p r o j e c t h a s s e r i o u s i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r c o m p o s i t i o n p e d a g o g y . T h e t e n d e n c y f o r t h e m a r k e r s n o t t o r e s p o n d t o t h e s a m e f e a t u r e s a n d t o r e s p o n d d i f f e r e n t l y t o t h e s a m e e s s a y s c a l l s i n t o s e r i o u s q u e s t i o n p r e s e n t t e s t i n g a n d g r a d i n g p r o c e d u r e s a s w e l l a s t h e w h o l e a p p r o a c h t o t e a c h i n g c o m p o s i t i o n . I f t e a c h e r s o f E n g l i s h c a n n o t a g r e e o n t h e v a l u e o f a n e s s a y a n d d o n o t k n o w w h i c h f e a t u r e s o u g h t t o b e p r e s e n t i n e s s a y s a n d w h i c h a b s e n t , t h e n h o w c a n we e x p e c t s t u d e n t s t o l e a r n h o w t o w r i t e f r o m t h e m ? W h e n c o m p o s i t i o n t e a c h e r s t e l l s t u d e n t s n o t t o u s e n o m i n a l i z e d c o n s t r u c t i o n s b u t t h e n r e s p o n d p o s i t i v e l y t o e s s a y s c o n t a i n i n g t h e m , i s i t a n y w o n d e r s t u d e n t s w i t h w r i t i n g p r o b l e m s f e e l t h a t t h e y a r e p l a y i n g s o m e s o r t o f K a f k a e s q u e g a m e , t h a t n o m a t t e r h o w c l o s e l y t h e y a t t e n d t o i n s t r u c t i o n s a n d h o w h a r d t h e y w o r k t h e y c a n n e v e r p r o d u c e w h a t t h e t e a c h e r r e a l l y w a n t s ? A n d w h a t a b o u t t h e t e a c h e r s ? A f t e r a f e w y e a r s o f c o n s c i e n t i o u s e f f o r t , u s i n g e v e r y r e s o u r c e a v a i l a b l e w i t h n o a p p a r e n t s u c c e s s , h o w c a n we b l a m e t h e m f o r h a t i n g t e a c h i n g c o m p o s i t i o n , f o r c o n c l u d i n g t h a t e i t h e r t h e s t u d e n t s o r t h e 92 s u b j e c t i s u n t e a c h a b l e ? S t u d e n t s m u s t b e a b l e t o w r i t e c o h e r e n t l y i f t h e y a r e t o p r o g r e s s a c a d e m i c a l l y , a n d f r e q u e n t l y t h e j o b s t h e y w i l l b e s e e k i n g w i l l a l s o r e q u i r e t h i s a b i l i t y . G i v e n t h e i n d i c a t i o n s o f t h i s s t u d y t h a t E n g l i s h t e a c h e r s a r e n o t r e l i a b l e j u d g e s o f c o h e r e n c e a n d t h a t h a n d b o o k s d o n o t p r o v i d e a d e q u a t e i n s t r u c t i o n s a n d t h e i n d i c a t i o n s o f o t h e r s t u d i e s t h a t t e a c h e r s f r e q u e n t l y a r e u n a b l e t o a r t i c u l a t e c o r r e c t l y w h i c h a s p e c t s o f w r i t t e n d i s c o u r s e t h e y r e s p o n d t o , i t i s c l e a r t h a t b e t t e r t r a i n i n g o f c o m p o s i t i o n t e a c h e r s f o r t h a t s p e c i f i c t a s k i s e s s e n t i a l . R h e t o r i c a l t h e o r y h a s l o n g b e e n a v a i l a b l e , b u t t h a t b o d y o f w o r k d o e s n o t a n s w e r s o m e o f t h e i m p o r t a n t q u e s t i o n s t h a t c u r r e n t l i n g u i s t i c s - b a s e d r e s e a r c h a p p l i e s i t s e l f t o , s u c h a s q u e s t i o n s a b o u t t h e s e m a n t i c b a s i s f o r c o h e r e n c e i n t h e p r e s e n t c a s e . T h u s , t h e c l e a r i m p l i c a t i o n o f t h i s p r o j e c t i s t h a t i n o r d e r f o r t e a c h e r s t o b e t t e r t e a c h c o m p o s i t i o n , t h e l i n g u i s t i c s - b a s e d r e s e a r c h c u r r e n t l y p r o c e e d i n g i n d i s c o u r s e t h e o r y m u s t b e a p p l i e d t o a w i d e r v a r i e t y o f p r o b l e m s i n s t u d e n t w r i t i n g w i t h g r e a t e r r i g o r t h a n h a s s o f a r b e e n d o n e . W i t h o u t a n e x p l i c i t u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f w h a t r e a d e r s r e s p o n d p o s i t i v e l y a n d n e g a t i v e l y t o i n s t u d e n t w r i t i n g , t e a c h e r s c a n n o t b e e x p e c t e d t o p r o p e r l y g u i d e t h e i r s t u d e n t s . F u r t h e r m o r e , i t a p p e a r s t h a t w i t h o u t s o m e g r e a t e r d e g r e e o f t r a i n i n g , t e a c h e r s c a n n o t b e e x p e c t e d t o r e s p o n d 93 r e l i a b l y t o s t u d e n t w r i t i n g . We m u s t , t h e n , c o n t i n u e r e s e a r c h i n g p r o b l e m s l i k e c o h e r e n c e , a n d , e q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t l y , we m u s t e n s u r e t h a t c o m p o s i t i o n t e a c h e r s a r e e x p o s e d t o t h e r e s u l t s o f t h e r e s e a r c h . T h e c u r r e n t p r o j e c t a l s o h a s i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r f u t u r e r e s e a r c h . I n t h i s p r o j e c t , I u s e d u n t r a i n e d r e a d e r s , a n u n d e f i n e d t e r m , a n d a s u b j e c t i v e a n a l y s i s . I n f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h s o m e v a r i a t i o n s c o u l d b e m a d e . F o r t h e p u r p o s e s o f t h i s p r o j e c t , i t w a s e s s e n t i a l t o l e a v e t h e t e r m " c o h e r e n c e " u n d e f i n e d . D e f i n i n g i t i n a n y w a y w o u l d h a v e r e s u l t e d i n a s t u d y o f h o w t h e r e a d e r s a p p l i e d my d e f i n i t i o n r a t h e r t h a n o f w h a t t h e y i m p l i c i t l y c o n s i d e r e d t o b e c o h e r e n c e . P e r h a p s i n a f u t u r e s t u d y a d e f i n i t i o n o f c o h e r e n c e m i g h t b e e l i c i t e d f r o m t h e r e a d e r s i n d i s c u s s i o n s p r i o r t o t h e m a r k i n g a n d a r u b r i c d r a w n u p f r o m t h a t . I n a n y c a s e , i t i s i m p o r t a n t t h a t a t h e o r e t i c a l d e f i n i t i o n n o t b e i m p o s e d o n t h e r e a d e r s . T h e u s e o f u n t r a i n e d r e a d e r s i s s o m e t h i n g t h a t c o u l d b e a l t e r e d i n a f u t u r e p r o j e c t . W h i l e t h i s p r o j e c t h i g h l i g h t e d t h e c o n f u s i o n r e g a r d i n g t h e t e r m " c o h e r e n c e , " i t w o u l d b e e q u a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g t o t e s t t h e s a m e f e a t u r e s t e s t e d h e r e a g a i n s t t h e p e r c e p t i o n s o f a g r o u p o f r e a d e r s t r a i n e d f o r c o n s e n s u s . L i k e l y , s u c h a p r o c e d u r e w o u l d r e s u l t i n s t r o n g e r c o r r e l a t i o n s b e t w e e n t o t a l s c o r e s a n d f e a t u r e s t h a n w e r e a c h i e v e d i n t h i s s t u d y . A n o t h e r p o s s i b i l i t y w o u l d b e 94 i t o u s e r e a d e r s w h o w e r e n o t E n g l i s h t e a c h e r s b u t r a t h e r p e o p l e e x p e r i e n c e d o r t r a i n e d i n t h e s u b j e c t a r e a o f t h e e s s a y . T h e q u e s t i o n o f t h e s u b j e c t i v i t y o f t h e a n a l y s i s i s p r o b l e m a t i c a l . I t s e e m s l i k e l y t h a t s e m a n t i c s i s t h e s t u d y n o t o f w h a t i s o n t h e p a g e , b u t r a t h e r t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e t e x t a n d t h e r e a d e r . I f t h i s i s s o , t h e n a n y a n a l y s i s m u s t b e s u b j e c t i v e . T h e p r o b l e m i s t h a t we w a n t t o a v o i d r e s u l t s t h a t m a y b e d u e l a r g e l y t o t h e a n a l y s t ; we w a n t r e s u l t s t h a t a r e g e n e r a l , t h a t c a n b e r e p l i c a t e d . A p o s s i b l e w a y o f s o l v i n g t h i s p r o b l e m w o u l d b e t o h a v e e a c h p a p e r a n a l y s e d b y t w o o r m o r e a n a l y s t s . F o l l o w i n g t h e r e s o l u t i o n o f a n y c a s e s o f d i s a g r e e m e n t , we w o u l d b e l e f t w i t h a n a n a l y s i s t h a t c o u l d b e c l a i m e d s o m e w h a t g e n e r a l . P r o b l e m s w i t h t h i s s o l u t i o n a r e p r a c t i c a l o n e s ; t h i s m e t h o d r e q u i r e s a t l e a s t t w o p e o p l e w i t h t r a i n i n g i n t h e t h e o r y u n d e r l y i n g t h e f e a t u r e s b e i n g a n a l y s e d , a n d i f t h e s e c o n d p r o s p e c t i v e a n a l y s t i s a v a i l a b l e , t h e m o n e y t o p r o c u r e h i s o r h e r s e r v i c e s m i g h t n o t b e . T h i s s a m e p r o b l e m a p p l i e s t o i n c r e a s i n g t h e n u m b e r o f r e a d e r s u s e d i n t h e s t u d y . I n f u t u r e s t u d i e s o f t h i s t y p e , s o m e a d j u s t m e n t s i n t h e f e a t u r e s t e s t e d s h o u l d b e m a d e . L i k e l y I w o u l d e l i m i n a t e t h e p h y s i c a l a n d s t y l i s t i c f e a t u r e s u n l e s s s o m e t h e o r e t i c a l b a s i s f o r t h e i r c o n n e c t i o n t o c o h e r e n c e c o u l d b e d i s c o v e r e d . T h e o t h e r f e a t u r e s , t h o s e I h a v e s u g g e s t e d r e l a t e d i r e c t l y 95 t o c o h e r e n c e , m i g h t b e t e s t e d s i n g l y i n g r e a t e r d e t a i l w i t h m o r e d e t a i l e d t h e o r e t i c a l b a s e s . F i n a l l y , o t h e r f e a t u r e s n o t t e s t e d h e r e c o u l d b e t e s t e d i n a f u t u r e s t u d y . T h e f e a t u r e o f s e m a n t i c a l l y a n o m a l o u s s e n t e n c e s i n c l u d e d m o r e t h a n o n e t y p e o f p r o b l e m u n d e r o n e h e a d i n g . I n t h e f i r s t p l a c e , i t i n c l u d e s t r u l y a n o m a l o u s s e n t e n c e s w h i c h s i m p l y c a n n o t b e c o n s i d e r e d a c c e p t a b l e E n g l i s h 12 s e n t e n c e s . I n t h e s e c o n d p l a c e , t h e c a t e g o r y a l s o i n c l u d e s s e n t e n c e s t h a t a r e g r a m m a t i c a l , b u t s i m p l y d o n o t f i t t h e c o n t e x t i n w h i c h t h e y a r e p r e s e n t e d . B e c a u s e t h e r e a r e s o f e w o f e i t h e r t y p e o f s e n t e n c e , s e p a r a t i n g t h e t w o t y p e s d o e s n o t a p p e a r n e c e s s a r y o r p r o f i t a b l e f o r f u t u r e p r o j e c t s . T h e f e a t u r e o f o r g a n i z a t i o n w a s i n t e n d e d a s a g r o s s q u a n t i f i c a t i o n o f t h e o r d e r o f p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e i d e a s i n e a c h e s s a y . I n f a c t , w h e n d e a l i n g w i t h t h r e e h u n d r e d w o r d e s s a y s , i t s e e m s u n n e c e s s a r y t o a t t e m p t t o q u a n t i f y t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n m o r e f i n e l y . P a p e r s o f t h i s l e n g t h w o u l d n o t l i k e l y c o n t a i n m u l t i p l e d i v i s i o n s . T h u s , b o t h t h e s e f e a t u r e s c o u l d w e l l b e l e f t a s t h e y a r e . M y a t t e m p t t o q u a n t i f y d e v e l o p m e n t l e a v e s s o m e q u e s t i o n s a b o u t w h e t h e r d e v e l o p m e n t i s a l w a y s a c h i e v e d b y t h e u s e o f s p e c i f i c n o u n p h r a s e s o r b y o t h e r m e a n s a s w e l l , a n d w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e u s e o f s p e c i f i c n o u n p h r a s e s a l w a y s r e s u l t s i n d e v e l o p m e n t . I n o t h e r w o r d s , i s a h i g h r a t e o f s p e c i f i c n o u n p h r a s e s e i t h e r n e c e s s a r y o r s u f f i c i e n t f o r 96 development? If neither, then do s p e c i f i c noun phrases contribute at a l l to development? The answers to these questions may l i e i n analyses of expert writing, p a r t i c u l a r l y that noted for i t s development. Such analyses would be prerequisite to future attempts to quantify development. In any case, however, the fact that one reader showed a s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n with the feature indicates i t i s worth pursuing i n greater d e t a i l . Another feature that requires reworking i s d e i c t i c t i e s . The r e s u l t s of the feature/score correlations were quite the opposite of those expected and contradictory to the findings of Witte and Faigley (1981) i n t h e i r test of cohesive t i e s . To test the v a l i d i t y of d e i c t i c t i e s , one could analyse discourses f i r s t for d e i c t i c t i e s and then for Halliday and Hasan's more rigorously defined cohesive t i e s . In t h i s way, the differences between the two features would become apparent. V i o l a t i o n of the given/new contract, while c o r r e l a t i n g negatively either s i g n i f i c a n t l y or close to s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n most cases, i s not yet s a t i s f a c t o r i l y defined. The analysis I performed was e n t i r e l y subjective and ad hoc, though, at t h i s stage, unavoidably so. A larger t h e o r e t i c a l framework i s required to allow for characterizations of the underlying text i n terms of given and new information. Following such a characterization, while judgments about the p l a u s i b i l i t y 97 of required implicatures would remain subjective, the analyst would have a much better map to work with. The s i t u a t i o n i s similar with the feature of inference l e v e l , though i n t h i s case the t h e o r e t i c a l framework exists (see Crothers 1979). The lack of s i g n i f i c a n t correlations seems due to the fact that the coherence of a text i s dependent less on the number of inferences required than on the type. Both these features are p o t e n t i a l l y very important for defining coherence, but both require a d i f f e r e n t application than provided i n t h i s study. A feature that was not tested in t h i s study but which ought to be tested i n a future project i s the number and type of t r a n s i t i o n s l e f t for the reader to i n f e r . Again, the t h e o r e t i c a l framework exists (Crothers 1979) and awaits only application. The r e s u l t s of t h i s study indicate some directions for future research and some d i f f i c u l t i e s i n current composition pedagogy. In order to teach students to write better adequately, we must determine what features make up good student writing at various l e v e l s , and what features make up good professional writing. Following t h i s process, we must determine how best to foster the development of writing s k i l l s that w i l l allow the students to use and manipulate these features. Thus, t h i s project i s only part the f i r s t stage of research i n composition theory. 98 N o t e s •"• T h e s e i n c l u d e L a k o f f (1971) , J a c k e n d o r f (1972) , K e e n a n (1971) , a n d L a n g e n d o e n a n d S a v i n (1971). 2 T h e w o r k o f H a l l i d a y (1967) a n d B o l i n g e r (1972) t i e t h e p l a c e m e n t o f s t r e s s i n t o t h e q u e s t i o n o f t h e g i v e n n e s s o f n e w n e s s o f i n f o r m a t i o n . A s e r i o u s d i f f i c u l t y w i t h t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e t r e a t m e n t s o f s t r e s s i s t h a t t h e y f a i l t o d e a l w i t h t h e h e a r e r ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f s t r e s s . P r i o r t o C h o m s k y a n d H a l l e ' s S o u n d P a t t e r n o f E n g l i s h (1968), s t r e s s w a s g e n e r a l l y c o n s i d e r e d p h o n e m i c ; t h e s p e a k e r p l a c e d s t r e s s i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h t h e m e a n i n g o f h i s s e n t e n c e a n d t h e h e a r e r h e a r d i t a n d u s e d i t i n t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e s e n t e n c e . S o m e o f t h e p r o b l e m s f a c e d b y l i n g u i s t s w o r k i n g u n d e r t h a t h y p o t h e s i s c a n b e s e e n i n t h e w o r k o f L e h i s t e (1970) a n d L i e b e r m a n (1970). T h e m a j o r p r o b l e m t h e y f a c e i s s i m p l y t h a t t h e r e a r e n o c o n s i s t e n t a c o u s t i c c o r r e l a t e s t o s t r e s s . I t i s d i f f i c u l t , t h e n , t o e x p l a i n h o w a h e a r e r d o e s , i n f a c t , p e r c e i v e s t r e s s . C h o m s k y a n d H a l l e ' s t e n t a t i v e e x p l a n a t i o n i s t h e f o l l o w i n g : . . . a c o r r e c t d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e p e r c e p t u a l p r o c e s s w o u l d b e s o m e t h i n g l i k e t h i s . T h e h e a r e r m a k e s u s e o f c e r t a i n c u e s a n d c e r t a i n e x p e c t a t i o n s t o d e t e r m i n e t h e s y n t a c t i c s t r u c t u r e a n d s e m a n t i c c o n t e n t o f a n u t t e r a n c e . G i v e n a h y p o t h e s i s a s t o i t s s y n t a c t i c s t r u c t u r e — i n p a r t i c u l a r i t s s u r f a c e s t r u c t u r e — h e u s e s t h e p h o n o l o g i c a l p r i n c i p l e s t h a t h e c o n t r o l s t o d e t e r m i n e a p h o n e t i c s h a p e . T h e h y p o t h e s i s w i l l t h e n b e a c c e p t e d i f i t i s n o t t o o r a d i c a l l y a t v a r i a n c e w i t h t h e a c o u s t i c m a t e r i a l . . . ( 2 4 ) C h o m s k y a n d H a l l e a t t e m p t t h e n t o p r e d i c t s t r e s s p l a c e m e n t f r o m t h e s u r f a c e s y n t a c t i c s t r u c t u r e o f t h e s e n t e n c e . E v e n t u a l l y , B e r m a n a n d S z a m o s i (1972) i n t r o d u c e s e m a n t i c s 99 i n t o t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f s t r e s s p l a c e m e n t . T h e y a r e f o l l o w e d b y B o l l i n g e r ' s ( 1 9 7 2 ) s u g g e s t i o n t h a t s t r e s s , o r a c c e n t a s h e p r e f e r s t o c a l l i t , v a r i e s u n d e r c o n d i t i o n s s u c h a s t o p i c a l i z a t i o n , e m p h a s i s a n d c o n t r a s t , a n d t h a t s t r e s s i s n o t p r e d i c t a b l e a t a l l . I n f a c t , i t a p p e a r s t o me t h a t t h e e n t i r e p r o b l e m c o u l d b e d e a l t w i t h m u c h m o r e e a s i l y i f c o n t e x t w e r e a p p e a l e d t o . I f we p o s i t t h a t s t r e s s i s p l a c e d o n t h e n e w i n f o r m a t i o n , w h i l e r e m e m b e r i n g t h a t n e w i n f o r m a t i o n ( o r t h e f o c u s ) i s n o r m a l l y a t t h e e n d o f t h e s e n t e n c e , we h a v e t h e n t a k e n c a r e o f t h e g e n e r a l i z a t i o n t h a t s t r e s s i n E n g l i s h t e n d s t o b e a t t h e e n d o f t h e s e n t e n c e . I f we f u r t h e r r e m e m b e r t h a t t h e n e w i n f o r m a t i o n c a n b e m o v e d t o o t h e r p o s i t i o n s i n t h e s e n t e n c e , t h e n we h a v e t a k e n c a r e o f t h e p r o b l e m o f s t r e s s t h a t d o e s n o t a p p e a r a t t h e e n d o f t h e s e n t e n c e . F i n a l l y , i f we c o n s i d e r t h a t , i n n o r m a l l y f u n c t i o n i n g d i s c o u r s e , t h e h e a r e r h a s t h e s a m e a c c e s s t o t h e g i v e n i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t t h e s p e a k e r h a s ( t h i s n o t i o n w i l l b e d i s c u s s e d l a t e r i n t h e m a i n t e x t ) , t h e n t h e p r o b l e m o f t h e h e a r e r h e a r i n g s t r e s s i n s p i t e o f a l a c k o f c o n s i s t e n t a c o u s t i c c o r r e l a t e s i s a l s o s o l v e d . B o t h t h e s p e a k e r a n d t h e h e a r e r w i l l k n o w w h i c h e l e m e n t s h o u l d c a r r y t h e s t r e s s ; t h e s p e a k e r w i l l p r o v i d e a c o u s t i c c u e s , a n d t h e h e a r e r w i l l u s e t h o s e c u e s i n p r o d u c i n g a h y p o t h e t i c a l p h o n o l o g i c a l s h a p e o f t h e u t t e r a n c e . 3 T h r o u g h o u t t h i s s t u d y I r e f e r t o h e a r e r s a n d r e a d e r s i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y e x c e p t i n c a s e s w h e r e t h e d i f f e r e n c e i n m e d i u m a p p e a r s s i g n i f i c a n t . 4 A " s t o r y g r a m m a r " i s ( p r o b a b l y ) a c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f v a r i o u s e l e m e n t s i n a s t o r y , i n c l u d i n g s u c h t h i n g s a s i n t r o d u c t i o n s , s e t t i n g s , e t c . 5 N o t i c e t h a t M c K o o n ' s s t u d y s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e e s s a y s u s e d i n t h i s s t u d y s h o u l d n o t b e a f a c t o r i n t h e g r a d e s g i v e n b y t h e m a r k e r s , a s t h e s e g r a d e s w e r e g i v e n i m m e d i a t e l y f o l l o w i n g t h e r e a d i n g o f t h e e s s a y . ^ " T - u n i t " s t a n d s f o r m i n i m a l t e r m i n a b l e u n i t . I t w a s d e v e l o p e d a s a m o r e a c c u r a t e m e a s u r e t h a n s e n t e n c e l e n g t h f o r d e t e r m i n i n g s y n t a c t i c m a t u r i t y . A T - u n i t c o n s i s t s o f a m a i n c l a u s e a n d a l l a p p e n d a g e s ; i t i s t h e m i n i m a l u n i t w h i c h c o u l d g r a m m a t i c a l l y s t a n d a l o n e . 7 L u n s f o r d ( 1 9 8 0 ) f o u n d t h a t o n e o f t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f b a s i c w r i t i n g s h e s t u d i e d w a s t h e l o w r a t e o f n o m i n a l i z a t i o n . 100 I ignored the less damaging s p e l l i n g errors. In only the one instance was a possible s p e l l i n g error interpreted by the markers as a coherence problem. I t occurred i n essay 33 where the author noted that the "gun and the atomic bomb are two of the man inventions that should have been disinvented..." Three of the four markers noted t h i s as one of the places that t h i s paper was incoherent. Furthermore, had I noticed at the time that the writer probably meant to say "main inventions," I l i k e l y would have corrected i t . The fact that neither I nor three of the markers noticed i t l i k e l y was a s p e l l i n g error may be due to the fact that the rest of the essay was very poorly written, f a i l i n g the composition test and getting the lowest rating from a l l four markers. For t h i s paper, the notion of a "man invention" did not seem impossible. 9 Analysis of t h i s feature was, I think inescapably, subjective. Any time one works with meaning, one i s unavoidably working with one's own interpretation. In a study such as t h i s one, perhaps the best way of proceeding i s to get some sort of consensus from a group of analysts; however, i n the absence of such human resources, the best one can do i s attempt to remain consistent i n making decisions. Some examples of what I considered semantically anomalous sentences are: (12) Deaths from car accidents cause thousands of deaths per year. (essay 10) (13) Here the walk w i l l p h y s i c a l l y benefit him and the mental f r u s t r a t i o n of busy numbers and phones ringing would r e l i e v e mental stress, (essay 11) (14) However, i t s consequences have not been a l l that bad because i t has stopped numerous i n j u r i e s from occurring and becoming highly l e t h a l , (essay 16) In (12) and (14) the problem i s simply a wrong word, "deaths" i n (12) being simply an oversight, while that i n (14) appears to indicate some misunderstanding of " l e t h a l . " In (13) the problem i s that the author l o s t track of the subject of the sentence before coming to the predicate. (12) and (14) both occurred i n essays marked for s p e c i f i c coherence errors. Three markers indicated (12) as a source of incoherence, while a l l four marked (14) as such. In 101 t o t a l , I found only thirty-two such cases i n the entire sample. Two essays contained f i v e cases each, two contained three, one contained two, and fourteen essays contained one. Fewer than half the essays contained any at a l l . Table 9 shows the correlations between grades and what I have termed coherence features. As some of the features would be expected to show negative correlations, I have indicated the p o s i t i v e ones as well. The t o t a l mark and reader 2 show s i g n i f i c a n t negative correlations with the number of semantically anomalous sentences, as does the ECT mark. Given the low number of essays containing any such sentences, though, c l e a r l y t h i s feature cannot account for the h o l i s t i c judgments on i t s own. However, semantically anomalous sentences do appear to be one of the features that a f f e c t coherence judgments. ^ As with the semantically anomalous sentences, the judgments are unavoidably ad hoc, and, again, committee judging would be the best way of ensuring consistency. ^ 1 Crothers notes that the depth of analysis must be limited according to the purpose of the analysis i f the analyst i s not to be overwhelmed with d e t a i l . As my purpose was to compare the lev e l s of inference required by a number of texts rather than to provide a detailed description of a few texts, I maintained a shallow l e v e l of analysis. As Crothers notes, and as I have found with a l l the semantic analyses, s u b j e c t i v i t y i s impossible to avoid at our current l e v e l of understanding, and may be impossible to avoid i n p r i n c i p l e as what we are te s t i n g i s the i n t e r a c t i o n of texts and readers. Crothers 1 solution to t h i s problem i s for the analyst to remain as consistent as possible, though as I mentioned i n previous cases, committee analysis might also be useful. In my analysis I did not attempt to reduce a l l sentences to single propositions. Rather I t r i e d to present them as simple statements of the sentences' main ideas. Sometimes paraphrases were necessary as i n (19) There has not been discovered any way to deactivate these wastes, other than by natural degradation. The half l i v e s of these materials are thousands of years. Is there anywhere on earth where one can safely store the ever-increasing amounts of radio-active wastes? (essay 18) which I analysed as: 102 (20) Only natural degradation deactivates wastes. This takes thousands of years. I t i s d i f f i c u l t to f i n d a place where wastes w i l l be undisturbed for that time. A l l three of the statements i n (20) were represented as having e x p l i c i t l y occurred i n the text (though one must know what a "half l i f e " i s for t h i s step to be legitimate). Propositions regarded as requiring an inference occurred i n an e a r l i e r part of the same paper: (21) One of the main things I would l i k e to see disinvented i s nuclear f i s s i o n . E i n s t e i n himself was dismayed at the uses his ideas were put to at Hiroshima. which I represented as: (22) Nuclear f i s s i o n should be disinvented. *Einstein discovered nuclear f i s s i o n . *He didn't intend i t to be harmful. * l t was used to cause harm at Hiroshima. E i n s t e i n was dismayed at t h i s use. (*indicates inferred propositions) "Half l i f e " i n (19) was considered a case of l e x i c a l information. If one knows what a half l i f e i s , one understands the sentence. Thus, no inferences were required. On the other hand, knowing who Ein s t e i n was does not mean knowing he discovered nuclear f i s s i o n (in fact, my knowledge of that fact i s based on my inference from (21)), and i t c e r t a i n l y does not mean knowing he didn't intend nuclear f i s s i o n to be harmful. Furthermore, knowing where Hiroshima i s does not imply knowing that i t was destroyed by an atomic bomb, as p r i o r to i t s destruction such knowledge was not possible. Information of t h i s type i s d i f f e r e n t from l e x i c a l knowledge, though the boundaries between the two types of knowledge are not always d i s t i n c t . (If one says someone met his/her Waterloo, one i s using information from r i g h t on the boundary. Knowledge of the Battle of Waterloo i s c l e a r l y world knowledge, but i n t h i s case, i t i s not the bat t l e but a certa i n type of si t u a t i o n that i s referred to, and the term thus appears to refer to l e x i c a l knowledge.) Chomsky (1965) discusses these sorts of sentences as being faulty due to v i o l a t i o n s of rules of s t r i c t 103 subcategorization or s e l e c t i o n a l r e s t r i c t i o n s . The f i r s t type of v i o l a t i o n r e s u l t s i n non-sentences such as (23) John found sad (24) John elapsed that B i l l w i l l come (25) John compelled The second type results i n problematic sentences such as: (26) co l o r l e s s green ideas sleep f u r i o u s l y (27) golf plays John (28) the boy may frighten s i n c e r i t y but also acceptable sentences such as: (29) misery loves company (30) they perform t h e i r l e i s u r e with diligence (148-9) . 104 References Akmajian, Adrian. 1973. The role of focus i n the interpretation of anaphoric expressions. Ar f e s t s c h r i f t for Morris Halle, ed. by Stephen R. Anderson and Paul Kiparsky, 214-26. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Barnet, Sylvan and Marcia Stubbs. 1980. P r a c t i c a l guide to writing, 3rd ed. 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Rhetoric: discovery and change. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World. Y u i l l e , John C. and A l l a n Pavio. 1969. Abstractness and r e c a l l of connected discourse. Journal of experimental psychology 82.3.467-71. 

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