This paper analyzes the cognitive foundations of discursive coherence. The theoretical models that equate language with grammar and linguistic processing with sentence processing explain discourse coherence in terms of the linear relations of cohesion between consecutive sentences. Against such models, this paper shows that discourse coherence cannot be interpreted in reference to the cohesive ties between the individual sentences. Through the discussion of theoretical arguments and empirical data, it is shown that coherence is not dependent on linguistic features but is rather a property that is processed by cognitive systems that are not specific for language. The hypothesis is that discourse coherence primarily concerns the organization of thoughts rather than the organization of language, and that it is dependent on executive functions responsible for action planning and monitoring.
Adornetti, I. (2014). A Neuro-Cognitive Perspective on the Production and Comprehension of Discourse Coherence. In R.J. Chruszczewski P. (a cura di), Ways to Protolanguage 3 (pp. 9-24). Wrlowlac : Wydawnictwo Wyższej Szkoły Filologicznej.