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A study on english substitutions of synonym with reference to the vietnamese equivalents

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY

M.A. THESIS

A STUDY ON ENGLISH SUBSTITUTIONS OF
SYNONYM WITH REFERENCE TO THE
VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS
(NGHIÊN CỨU THAY THỂ TỪ ĐỒNG NGHĨA TRONG TIẾNG ANH
ĐỐI CHIẾU VỚI TIẾNG VIỆT)

TRẦN HÀ ANH

Hanoi, 2016


MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY

M.A. THESIS


A STUDY ON ENGLISH SUBSTITUTIONS OF
SYNONYM WITH REFERENCE TO THE
VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS
(NGHIÊN CỨU THAY THỂ TỪ ĐỒNG NGHĨA TRONG TIẾNG ANH
ĐỐI CHIẾU VỚI TIẾNG VIỆT)

TRẦN HÀ ANH
Field: English Language
Code: 60220201

Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lê Văn Thanh

Hanoi, 2016


CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY
I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project report
entitled A STUDY ON ENGLISH SUBSTITUTIONS OF SYNONYM
WITH REFERENCE TO THE VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS
submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master
in English Language. Except where the reference is indicated, no other
person’s work has been used without due acknowledgement in the text of the
thesis.
Hanoi, 2016

Trần Hà Anh

Approved by
SUPERVISOR

Assoc. Prof. Le Van Thanh, Ph.D
Date:……………………

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This thesis could not have been completed without the help and
support from a number of people.
Foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lê Văn Thanh for the continuous support of my M.A study
and research, for his patience, motivation, enthusiasm, and immense
knowledge. His guidance helped me in all the time of research and writing
of this thesis. I could not have imagined having a better advisor
and mentor for my M.A study.

A special word of thanks goes to all my lecturers in Postgraduate
Department of Hanoi Open University and my classmates, without whose
support and encouragement it would never have been possible for me to
have this thesis accomplished.
Last but not the least, I would like to thank my family: my parents, for
the sacrifice they have devoted to the fulfillment of this academic work.

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ABSTRACT

This article is an attempt to identify substitution of synonym in both English
and Vietnamese as a discourse cohesive device. Both quantitative and
qualitative approaches are used in the thesis. Besides, the thesis is carried out
based on the research methods such as statistical research, methodology
description, analysis and synthesis methods, comparing and contrasting
methods. With the corpora from stories and novels, the study classifies
substitution of synonym in English and Vietnamese into three types:
dictionary substitution of synonym, temporary substitution of synonym and
descriptive substitution of synonym. Then, the study explores the linguistic
features of these types of substitution of synonym in English and Vietnamese
in term of syntax and semantics. This aims to help learners to identify the type
of vocabulary and semantics common synonyms used in rather a synonym, at
the same time learners can have a better use of synonyms as a way of forming
cohesion. The findings of the study show frequency and diversity in the
relationship of the emergence of substitute synonyms in English and
Vietnamese. In addition, on the basic of the findings, some suggestion are put
forward to help Vietnamese teachers and learners of English master
substitution of synonym.

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LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

ESS

English Substitutions of Synonym

SI(s)

Substitute Item(s)

SS

Substitutions of Synonym

VSS

Vietnamese Substitutions of Synonym

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TABLE OF CONTENT
CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY ................................................................................................i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ...............................................................................................................ii
ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................................................... iii
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS........................................................................................................... iv
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION .....................................................................................................1
1.1 RATIONALE ........................................................................................ 1
1.2. AIM AND OBJECTIVES .................................................................... 3
1.2.1. Aims................................................................................................ 3
1.2.2. Objectives ....................................................................................... 3
1.3. SCOPE OF THE STUDY .................................................................... 4
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS .................................................................. 4
1.5. SIGNIFICANCA OF THE STUDY ..................................................... 5
1.6. DEFINITIONS OF TERMS ................................................................. 5
1.7. PRGANIZATION OF THE STUDY ................................................... 6
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL BACKGROUND....8
2.1. PREVIOUS STUDY ............................................................................ 8
2.2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND ................................................... 10
2.2.1. Discourse and Text ....................................................................... 10
2.2.2. Cohesion and Coherence .............................................................. 12
2.2.3. Reference ...................................................................................... 17
2.2.4. Substitution of synonym ............................................................... 19
2.2.5. Types of meaning ......................................................................... 30
2.3. SUMMARY........................................................................................ 33
CHAPTER 3: METHODS AND PROCEDURES.................................................................. 34
3.1. RESEARCH DESIGN ........................................................................ 34
3.2. RESEARCH METHOD ..................................................................... 34
3.3. SAMPLING ........................................................................................ 34
3.4. DATA COLLECTION ....................................................................... 35
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3.5. DATA ANALYSIS ............................................................................ 36
3.6. PROCEDURES .................................................................................. 36
3.7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY ..................................................... 37
CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSTION.................................................................... 38
4.1. TYPES ON SUBSTITUTION OF SYNONYM ................................ 38
4.1.1. Dictionary Substitution of synonym (Type 1).............................. 38
4.1.2. Temporary Substitution of synonym (Type 2) ............................. 40
4.1.3. Descriptive Substitution of synonym (Type 3) ............................ 42
4.2. SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES OF SS IN ENGLISH
AND VIETNAMESE ................................................................................ 44
4.2.1. Syntactic Features ......................................................................... 44
4.2.2. Semantic Features ......................................................................... 56
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS..................................................... 84
5.1 CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................. 84
5.2. IMLICATIONS .................................................................................. 86
5.3. LIMITATIONS .................................................................................. 88
5.4. SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESREACH ............................... 88

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LIST OF TABLE
Table 4.1. Classification of SS ..................................................................... 44
Table 4.2. Distribution of substitute items as subtypes of nouns in SS ....... 47
Table 4.3. Distribution of substitute items as noun phrase in SS ................. 49
Table 4.4 below: Relative frequency of substitute items in ESS and VSS in
syntactic feature ............................................................................................ 54
Table 4.5. Relative frequency of substitute items in ESS and VSS in
semantic feature ............................................................................................ 80

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 RATIONALE
Communication, which is considered a “bridge” to bring people closer and
closer, always plays an important role in human life. People use language as
a vital means to communicative with each other. Thanks to language, the most
important means of communication in human society, people can exchange
information, ideas and feelings. In order to communicative successfully and
effectively, people have to make use of language properly. Thai is not merely
by putting one sentence after another to mean something, but that people
should use cohesive devices seems to be one of the suitable ways. The
substitution via synonyms that can be also called substitution of synonym
(SS) is one of those cohesive means. (Halliday & Hasan, 1976)
During the process of writing or speaking, over repetition of a lexical item
may cause the boredom to the reader/hearer and may not convey the writer’s/
speaker’s message effectively. In contrast, the use of synonym to replace
some items of vocabulary can do better than this. That means the employment
of synonyms not only helps to avoid over repetition, but also contribute to the
effective expression of different shades of meaning. Here are some examples:
(1.1) Swetman, much awed and surprised, returned the articles to the
closet, and went downstairs pondering. Of his surmise he said nothing
to his daughters, merely saying to them that the gentleman was gone;
and never saying that he had been an eye-witness of the unpleasant
scene in the orchard that was the immediate cause of departure.
(1.2) Swetman, much awed and surprised, returned the articles to the
closet, and went downstairs pondering. Of his surmise he said nothing
to his daughters, merely declaring to them that the gentleman was
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gone; and never revealing that he had been an eye-witness of the
unpleasant scene in the orchard that was the immediate cause of
departure. (Hardy)
It can be seen in examples (1.1) and (1.2) that there is not any difference in
the content of the two strings of sentences. However, the writing style in the
second one is more fascinating. In (1.2), due to the different nuances of
meaning of “said”, “declaring” and “revealing”, different messages of writer
is also exposed through this string. This does not exist in (1.1) due to the
repetition of the same word “said-saying-saying”. Besides, the cohesion
among the sentences in (1.2) is still preserved because all of the three words
are similar in their basic meaning.
That is to say, the perception of using synonyms for substitution as a cohesive
device is very essential for most learners of English including Vietnamese
leaners of English. With a good knowledge of this cohesion device, leaners
know how to employ synonyms properly to create cohesion among strings of
sentences to make their language output less boring instead of abusing the
unnecessary repetition, and especially to convey the various shades of
meaning through synonyms.
What is more, nowadays, the traditional way of learning and teaching English
that focus on learning and teaching vocabulary, grammar, and etc. is not the
only focus of Vietnamese leaners and teachers of English. Besides, they also
pay more attention to important aspects of language in use like how a text is
cohesive and coherent. Therefore, the use of devices including replacement
mount synonyms to focus students' English and Vietnamese teachers.

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For these reasons, I have decided to choose the topic “A study on English
substitutions of synonym with reference to the Vietnamese equivalents”
for my master thesis.
1.2. AIM AND OBJECTIVES
1.2.1. Aims
This research focus on finding out different types of English and Vietnamese
substitution of synonym as well as describing the features of their language
syntax and semantics. The study aims at helping Vietnamese leaners of
English to be more aware of the role of substitution of synonym as a linguistic
means. Besides, the thesis is done to help Vietnamese leaners of English to
use synonyms suitably and persuasively in communicating and give some
implications for teaching English.
This research focuses on finding different kinds of English and synonyms
replace Vietnam as well as describe the features of their language syntax and
semantics. This study aims to help Vietnam's English learners to be more
aware of the role of alternative synonyms as a means of language. Besides,
the thesis is done to help Vietnam's English learners to use appropriate
synonyms and persuasive communication and give some suggestions for
teaching English.
1.2.2. Objectives
The objectives of this study are:
- to identify different types of SS in English and Vietnamese;
- to describe some linguistic features of SS in terms of syntax and
semantics;

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- to find out some similarities and differences of SS in English and
Vietnamese in the fields of syntax and semantics;
- to offer some suggestions to the teaching and learning of English to
Vietnamese teachers and learners.
1.3. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Through this study, the nature of SS in English and Vietnamese will be
clarified via the exploration of some of its linguistic features. The study,
however, will not cover all the linguistic features but it just focuses on
syntactic features and semantic features.
In terms of syntactic features, the focus is on the analysis of the lexical forms
of substitute items and how frequently they appear in SS under the forms of
different parts of speech.
With respect to semantic features, these will be described via the analysis of
different kinds of synonyms used in SS. Thanks to that, the study is analyzed
to see how sequences are cohered via synonyms, how the attitude and
message of writers’/ speakers’ are conveyed via synonyms which can contain
different shades of meaning. To do so, the classification of synonyms is based
mainly on the similarity in meaning or the identity in reference. I do not delve
into the degree of synonymity of synonyms in SS will not be mentioned in
the study.
Moreover, the data of the thesis do not come from all genres. They are
collected only from English and Vietnamese novels, short stories.

1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS

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1. How many kinds of SS are there in English and Vietnamese?
2. What are the syntactic and semantic features of SS in English and
Vietnamese?
3. What are the similarities and differences of SS in English and
Vietnamese in term of syntax and semantic?
4. What are some suggestions to the teaching and learning of English to
Vietnamese teachers and learners?
1.5. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Substitution of synonym is one of the cohesive devices used to create
cohesive and coherent language products. In fact, synonyms can be popularly
employed in both informal language (in everyday conversations) and formal
language (in speeches, reports, etc.). Thus, when conducting this thesis, I am
always aware that this will be necessary work. Because of some important
function of SS as follows:
- SS is a way of avoiding unnecessary repetition;
- Via SS, speaker/ write can diversify ways of using synonyms;
- Via different shade of synonyms used in SS, speaker/writer can show
their attitude towards character lively.
1.6. DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
- Substitution of synonym:
There are some ways of naming the cohesive device in discourse that use
synonyms for substitution. In English, Halliday and Hasan [38, p. 318] call
this reiteration by using synonyms, superordinates, general words. In
Vietnamese, this device is named as substitution of synonyms (phép thế đồng
nghĩa) by Trần Ngọc Thêm [20, p.114].

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In order to ensure the unity for the whole thesis, in this research “substitution
of synonym” is understood as the use of lexical items that are in some sense
synonyms with the items substituted.
- Substitute item:
In fact, there are many kinds of substitution in English and Vietnamese as
classified by Halliday and Hasan [38] and Trần Ngọc Thêm [20] such as
substitution, ellipsis, repetition, etc. They can be grammatical cohesion or
lexical cohesion. Thus, substitute items can also be regarded as grammatical
items or lexical items.
Since the study investigates how synonyms are used for substitution,
substitution item is also understood as lexical items which are used to replace
other ones.
1.7. ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
The content of the study is divided into five chapters, which are presented as
follows:
Chapter 1 is the introduction, which states the rationale of the study, the aims
and objectives, the significance, the scope, the research questions, the
significance, the definition of terms and the organization of the study.
Chapter 2 is the review of previous studies and theoretical background,
which presents some necessary studies related to the study and the basic
theory for the study.
Chapter 3 is the methods and procedures, which includes research design,
research methods, selection of sample, methods of collecting and analyzing

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data, procedures for carrying out the study. The reliability and validity of the
study will be the final part in this chapter.
Chapter 4 is the findings and discussions, which present the findings of
different kinds of SS, the findings of linguistic features of SS in the fields of
syntax and semantics together with the discussion of the findings.
Chapter 5 is the conclusions and implications where a summary of findings
is presented; besides, some practical implications and some suggestions for
further research are put forward.

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CHAPTER 2:
LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
2.1. PREVIOUS STUDY
Up to now, a lot of English and Vietnamese researchers have investigated
various cohesive devices which help to create cohesion and coherence in
discourse.
“Cohesion in English” by Halliday and Hasan [28] is considered one of the
valuable books on this linguistic aspect in the English language. In this book,
Halliday and Hasan discuss and divide cohesion into five types of devices:
reference, substitution, ellipsis, conjunction and lexical ties. Lexical
cohesion, to which synonym belongs, is also explained by Halliday later in
“An introduction to Functional Grammar” [29]. Besides, cohesive devices
have also been paid much attention to by Cook in “Discourse” [22]. He
studies such cohesive devices as verb form, parallelism, repetition, lexical
chains and formal links.
In “Discourse Analysis” [21], Brown and Yule have stated the nature of
reference in text and discourse as a cohesive device. They talked about
exophoric and endophoric to support the idea of text cohesion. In
“Pragmatics” [46], Yule points out lexical substitution related to the two term
“anaphora” and “cataphora”.
Nunan in “Introducing Discourse Analysis” [38] also mentions lexical
cohesion. He bases on the view of Halliday and Hasan and states that
reiteration with repetition, synonym, near synonymy, superordinates, general
words and collocation are the main categories of lexical cohesion.

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A Vietnamese researcher who regards the use of synonyms as lexical
cohesion is Nguyễn Hòa in “An Introduction to Discourse Analysis” [37].
According to him, the usage of synonyms or near synonym is very frequent
in English. This is to avoid unnecessary repetition.
In Vietnam, cohesion, especially substitution in cohesion, has also been
investigated in detail by Trần Ngọc Thêm in “Hệ thống liên kết văn bản tiếng
Việt” [20]. He categorized it into two types: pronoun substitution and
substitution of synonym. Besides, Diệp Quang Ban with “Văn bản và liên kết
trong tiếng Việt” [1] considers substitution of synonym as a cohesive devicelexical cohesion. Substitution of synonym is also discussed in term of speech
by Nguyễn Thị Việt Thanh with “Hệ thống liên kết lời nói tiếng Việt” [17].
One more investigation in this field is of Phan Văn Hòa with “Phương tiện
liên kết phát ngôn – Đối chiếu ngữ liệu tiếng Anh – Việt” [11]. He describes
the pragmatic effects of various cohesive devices for different semantic
relations with specific examples.
Besides the works above, there are two related M.A thesis including
“Substitution and Discourse – English versus Vietnamese” by Trần Thị Thủy
Hương [44] and “Substitution in English and Vietnamese Brief News” by
Nguyễn Phỉ Đính [36]. Both of them focus on substitution as a grammatical
cohesive device in English and Vietnamese. Through the corpora collected
from novels, plays, short stories, brief news, etc., they explore some
grammatical features of substitution such as nominal substitution, verbal
substitution, adverbial substitution and clausal substitution.
Briefly, the works above analyze the nature of cohesion in discourse of the
two language – English and Vietnamese, in which some kinds of cohesive
devices are categorized and clarified such as reference, pronoun substitution,
substitution of synonym, ellipsis, conjunction, etc. However, a contrast

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analysis of a certain device between the two languages seems to be still rare.
Consequently, I choose SS as one cohesive device to study in my thesis. I try
to clarify some linguistic features of SS in English and Vietnamese, in which
syntactic and semantic features are mainly focused. With the findings of my
thesis named “Substitution of synonym in English and Vietnamese”, I
hope that my study will be of some help for the teaching and learning English
of Vietnamese teachers and leaners.
2.2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
2.2.1. Discourse and Text
2.2.1.1. Discourse
There have been a lot of concepts of discourse. With different objects of
study, discourse is understood and defined in different ways.
Cook [22, p. 156] defined discourse as “a stretch of language perceived to be
meaningful, unified and purposive’.
Besides, discourse is “a communicative process. Its situation outcome is a
change in a state of affairs: information is conveyed, intentions made clear,
its linguistic product is text” which stated by Widdowson [45, p.100].
As discussed by Brown & Yule [21, p.12], discourse is language in use.
From a number of sources about discourse, David Nunan [38, p. 5] also made
an extract as follows: “discourse is a continuous stretch of (especially spoken)
language larger than a sentence, often constituting a coherent unit such as
sermon, argument, joke or narrative” (Crystal 1992:25)
In brief, all concepts of discourse stress the communicative dynamics of
language. Therefore, there is a strong tendency for discourse analysts to rely
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more heavily on observation of language used during interaction in natural
sequences of sentences, Based on the definitions above, I view discourse in
this study as follows:
- Discourse is language in use, for communication.
- Discourse is a language unit which has meaning, unify and purpose.
- Discourse can be constituted by the combination of many sentences.
2.2.1.2. Text
Text is also differently defined by different linguists.
Brown and Yule [21, p. 6] see text as “verbal record of communicative act.”
Text is “the linguistic product of a communicative process” according to
Widdowson [45]. In the field of syntax, text is a unity of many sentences
(rarely one sentence) linked together by ideas and lexical devices-grammar.
Then, Nunan [38, p. 6] uses the term text to refer to any written record of a
communicative event which conveys a complete message; he says that texts
may vary from single words to books with hundreds of pages.
Cook [22, p. 158] mentions text as a stretch of language which can be
interpreted in its form, outside the context.
In Vietnamese, Trần Ngọc Thêm states that text, ingeneral, is a system in
which sentences are constituents. Beside the sentence-constituents, this
system has some structures that identify the position of sentences and their
relationship among nearby sentences and the ones in the whole text.
With the definition of text above, in this study, I understand text as:

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- a written record of a communicative event which conveys a complete
message
- a stretch of language which can be interpreted in its form, outside the
context.
- a system in which sentences are constituents, and this system has some
structures that identify the position of sentences and their relationship
in the whole text.
2.2.2. Cohesion and Coherence
Up to now, many English and Vietnamese writers have been investigating
various cohesive devices which help to create cohesion and coherence. The
two terms “cohesion” and “coherence” have become very popular in
discourse analysis and textual linguistics. They mentions the way in which
sentences, whether in spoken or written form, cohere together to form a
meaningful text.
2.2.2.1. Cohesion
Cohesion, a term popularized by Halliday and Hasan [28], refers to the way
sentences and parts of sentences to ensure that there is propositional
development in a written or spoken discourse. They suggest that cohesion is
a semantic relation. Cohesion occurs where the interpretation of some
element in the discourse is dependent on that of one another.
Galperin [27] shows that cohesion is lexical, grammatical forms of
connection between concrete parts of discourse. It indicates the transition
from a division of these contextual variants to another. Cohesion, therefore,
is expressed on the surface of a discourse, making a link between utterances
or parts of it.

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Nguyễn Hòa [37, p. 23] says that “cohesion refers to the formal relationship
that causes text to cohere or stick together. It is indicated by grammatical,
logical and lexical relationships found among or between the sentences of a
text”.
Trần Ngọc Thêm [20] has investigated the dialectical relationship between
the two facets of cohesion: content cohesion and form cohesion. Content
cohesion is manifested through a system of form – cohesion devices; form
cohesion is embodied in content cohesion. As a result, a cohesive discourse
should own these two facets because they are the major factors to distinguish
what is called discourse from disconnected jumbles.
Let us consider the following examples:
(2.1a) Jane is American. Jane has lived in Britain for three years. Jane first
drove a car in Britain. Jane found it very difficult. Jane had to drive on the
left instead of on the right.
(2.2a) Cắm đi một mình trong đêm. Trận địa đại hội hai ở phía bãi bồi bên
một dòng sông. Hai bố con cùng viết đơn xin đi lính ra mặt trận. Mùa thu
hoạch lạc đã vào chặng cuối (Trần Ngọc Thêm, 1985).
Each of the separate sentences in (2.1a) and (2.2a) is a complete sentence in
both grammar and meaning. However, these sentences have not created a text
yet. In (2.1a), we may have a sequence of jumbles especially when we invert
the sentence order. In (2.2a), the sentences extracted from different stories
also give a sequence of jumbles.
What are the factors making a sequence of sentences to be a text?
In some cases, some necessary linguistic devices can be used to turn these
sentences into a meaningful text.
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(2.1b) Jane is American but she has lived in Britain for three years. When
she first drove a car in Britain, she found it difficult because she had to drive
on the left instead of on the right (Murphy, 1996).
Taking the two examples (2.1a) and (2.1b) into consideration, we can easily
realize that they almost have the same meaning. However, (2.1b) sounds
smoother and better while (2.1a) sounds rather odd although all the sentences
in (2.1a) are grammatically well-formed. It is the force of cohesion that leads
to the difference between the two pieces. In (2.1b), the sentences are linked
by various cohesive devices: anaphoric items (she), conjunctions (but, when,
because), Meanwhile, each sentence in (2.1a) is a self-contained unit and its
existence is dependent on the others.
In other cases, it can be seen that the text containing those separate sentences.
(2.2b)(a) Cắm đi một mình trong đêm. (b) Đúng như báo Đảng nói, đêm nay
trời ít mây và có gió nhẹ. (c) Mùa xuân về trên rẻo cao đã làm nở những thứ
hoa chỉ thơm ban đêm, kín đào như nụ cười tình của một cô gái Mèo. (d)
Tiếng kêu của một con hoẵng lạc bầy trong rừng khuya nghe như tiếng gọi
tha thiết cuat một con người. (e) Cắm nghĩ chưa bao giờ anh nghe báo nói về
tiếng kêu của con hoẵng đó. (f) Nhưng nói làm gì, trên khắp đất nước ta, có
nơi nào mà một đêm mùa xuân lại không nghe thấy tiếng kêu tha thiết của
một con hoẵng con? (g) Cắm xốc lại cây sung, nhưng không phải để bắn. (h)
Anh đi nhanh trong đêm quen thuộc.
When (2.2a) and (2.2b) are compared, it is clear that the sentences in (2.2a)
are unrelated. Meanwhile, the sentences in (2.2b) have a lose connection.
From the act of đi trong đêm, “Cắm” comments on thời tiết ban đêm. The
typical weather of mùa xuân makes “Cắm” to notice hoa đêm trên rẻo cao,
muông thú. The sentence (e) connect the three ones (a)-(b)-(d) (Cắm – báo

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Đảng – con hoẵng). The anxiety in (e) is replied though the content in (f).
The fact Cắm – súng – không bắn in (g) is related to con hoẵng in the previous
sentences and đi nhanh in (h). All of these complex relations among the
sentences create a net which helps to stick those sentences to be a text.
Obviously, cohesion plays an important role in discourse and thanks to
cohesion, we can distinguish discourse from others. Cohesion is part of the
system of a language and Halliday and Hasan [28] systematize this concept
by classifying it into five subtypes: reference, substitution, ellipsis,
conjunction and lexical cohesion.
To sum up, my view on cohesion in this research paper is represented as
follows:
- Cohesion is a semantic relation
- Cohesion is a lexical and grammatical forms of connection between
concrete parts of discourse;
- A cohesive discourse should shows two facets: content cohesion and
form cohesion.
2.2.2.2 Coherence
The factor that makes a product of language become a discourse or a text is
coherence, which is the semantic, implicit connection inside the discourse
itself. Some linguists say that coherence is the most essential characteristics
of the discourse and it can be explained as a sequence of particles and a field
of networks of information ideas. Hence, to be coherent, any text or discourse
must make sense, have unity and so be well-formed.
Richards [42, p.45] defines coherence á “the relationships which link the
meaning of utterances in a discourse or of sentences in a text”. These links

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may be based on the speaker’s or listener’s shared knowledge, and as much
possible with no grammatical or lexical signal.
Diệp Quang Ban [2, p. 297] states that “coherence is a logical connection in
meaning and function, which is represented during the deploying of a text
(such as a story, a conversation, a speech, etc.), so as to create connected facts
rather than connection between sentences and sentences”. For example:
(2.3) A: Have you got a light?
B: Sorry, I don’t smoke

(Trần Thị Thùy Hương, 2002)

This exchange shows that the text can be easily understood by anyone
although there is no cohesion. This is because it has overall coherence. B’s
answer makes A understand that B does not have a light because he does not
smoke. Hence, the conversation is still coherent without cohesion.
(2.4) Giáp: Tối nay đi nghe nhạc với tớ đi! (a)
Bính: Có trận bóng đá vô địch toàn quốc mà. (b)
Giáp: Đành vậy. (c)
The utterance (a) is an invitation so it can get two answers: accepting the
invitation (Cảm ơn) or refusing it (Xin lỗi). Through the utterance (b), Bính
apologizes Giáp for the refusing of Bính’s invitation. As for Giáp, because he
knows that Bính likes watching football, he only says “Đành vậy” with the
implicature that he accepts Bính’s apology. The acts of speech such as Mời,
Cảm ơn, Xin lỗi or Chấp nhận lời xin lỗi are connected together and make the
coherence of the conversation although there is no cohesive device among the
sentences.

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