Meningar i text : Satsradning i teoretisk och empirisk belysning

Sammanfattning: The topic of this thesis is the construction labelled satsradning in Swedish, which typically corresponds to the English term comma splice. They signify a case of two syntactically independent (main) clauses which are joined in the same orthographic sentence, without a coordinating conjunction. The two clauses can either be separated by a comma or joined together with no punctuation mark at all.The thesis focuses on comma splice constructions in texts written by Swedish students in upper secondary school, and the construction is addressed both theoretically and empirically. The aim is twofold. Firstly, based on previous research, the ambition is to build a theoretical model for analysis of clause relationships. Secondly, this model is applied on students’ texts in general and occurring cases of comma splice in the texts. Consequently, the students’ use of the comma splice is related to theoretical aspects of clause linking and meaning in text as well as related aspects on clausal and sentential level of the texts in question.The theoretical framework used is Segmented Discourse Representation Theory (SDRT), which is a theoretic approach to coherence and discourse interpretation drawing on a combination of dynamic semantics, common-sense reasoning, and speech act theory. A crucial observation in SDRT is that discourse is structured hierarchically by coordinating and subordinating discourse relations. Coordinating relations are claimed to link two propositions on the same level, whereas subordinating relations are claimed to change the granularity in the interpretation, e.g. when one proposition elaborates on another. The model for analysis on clause relationships presented discusses how the interpretation of coordinating and subordinating relations in clause linking relates to a syntactic dichotomy between coordinated and subordinated clauses. In addition, the model presents six categories of lexical markers that tie main clauses together.The empirical material consists of 96 student texts written within the course Svenska 1 in a first-year class in Swedish upper secondary school. In these texts 207 comma splices were observed and analysed. The results show, among other things, that comma splices often can be reformulated with subordinated clauses, since most of the cases in argumentative and referring texts have a hierarchy on discourse level. Moreover, the students’ use of comma splice differs in different types of texts.