Abstract:This paper is to investigate the relationship between the employment of cohesive devices in English speech and the quality of speech. The quality of speech is measured remarks given by judges; and cohesive devices in speech are counted and analyzed from following aspects such as grammatical cohesive devices and lexical cohesive devices. Objects of study are chosen from five texts of impromptu speech of CCTV English Speaking Contest and five of the 21st Century English Speaking Contest. The research approach is based on quantitative paradigm. Study with the distribution of cohesive devices in these ten examples shows that the employment of cohesive devices has relationship with the quality of transcripts.
Key Words: cohesive device, quantitative analysis, Chinese college students, impromptu speech
In English impromptu speech, all of the cohesive devices have been employed by speakers. It is obvious that some cohesive devices have a relatively higher frequency; while others, relatively lower. Generally speaking, the cohesive device of reference is utilized the most frequently; reiteration and conjunction take the second place; speakers use substitution, ellipsis and collocation less. From the three tables, we can see the overall trend of the employment of cohesive devices. We can also infer that the employment of cohesive devices has relationship with the quality of transcripts. Moreover, cohesive devices are necessary but not sufficient to achieve cohesion and to establish internal relations between sentences. In fact, some speakers have misapplied conjunction in their speeches. That is to say, they assume that they can achieve cohesion simply by utilizing conjunctive words, however, they ignore the internal relations between sentences. To develop the ideas coherently, the most important thing speakers have to pay great attention is logical flow, which requires transitions and sign posting.