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Toward a Grammar of Passages

Toward a Grammar of Passages

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Richard M. Coe

$35.00

Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
978-0-8093-1420-1
144 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, 21 illustrations
11/20/1987

Studies in Writing and Rhetoric

 

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About the Book

“The mature writer is recognized ... by his ability to create a flow of sentences, a pattern of thought that is produced, one suspects, according to the principles of yet another kind of grammar—a grammar, let us say, of passages.”—Mina Shaughnessy

Richard M. Coe has developed such a “grammar,” one which uses a simple graphic instrument to analyze the meaningful relationships between sentences in a passage and to clarify the function of structure in discourse. Working in the tradition of Christensen’s generative rhetoric, Coe presents a two-dimensional graphic matrix that effectively analyzes the logical relations between statements by mapping coordinate, subordinate, and superordinate relationships.

Coe demonstrates the power of his discourse matrix by applying it to a variety of significant problems, such as how to demonstrate discourse differences between cultures (especially between Chinese and English), how to explain precisely what is “bad” about the structure of passages that do not work, and how best to teach structure. This new view of the structure of passages helps to articulate crucial questions about the relations between form and function, language, thought and culture, cognitive and social processes.

Authors/Editors

Richard M. Coe is Professor of English at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.