A contrastive study of cohesion in Arabic and English religious discourse

Author: Bassil Mashaqba

Keywords: Discourse analysis, cohesion, contrastive research


This paper aims to analyze the use of cohesion in Arabic and English religious spoken texts. Twelve texts, delivered by some of the most eloquent Imams, were analyzed in light of the model proposed by Halliday & Hasan (1976). The study reveals that lexical cohesion is the most dominant type of cohesion in Arabic religious discourse, whereas it is grammatical cohesion which dominates English religious discourse. Although both languages prefer the use of reference, conjunctions and lexical repetition, Arabic uses lexical repetition, collocation and personal pronouns more often than English. A major contribution of the present study is that it captures new cohesive devises employed in Arabic religious discourse other than proposed by Halliday & Hasan (1976): rhyming patterns and parallelism.