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Sentence semantics exercises

Semantic markers indicate a change of direction. Without semantic markers the reader infers that more of the same will follow. Thus, 'The second sentence has more momentum' would normally be followed by an amplification of this idea, for example 'It propels the reader forward by the use of a semantic marker at the beginning.' 'Because', therefore, indicates a change of direction from amplification to causality. 'Thus' indicates a change from cause to effect. Without it the reader would expect another cause. 'Moreover' indicates a change of direction from effect back to another cause which is signalled by 'because'. 'In contrast' indicates the sharpest change of direction, onto an analysis of a different sentence.

Semantic markers are therefore extremely important as tools to increase coherence and momentum. They should, however, only be used when necessary, that is when a change of direction occurs.

Look at the pairs of sentences below. Decide whether a semantic marker is needed, and if so which and where.

  1. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are good examples of these practical, universally acclaimed elements of the UN system. They represent what is best in international co-operation.
  2. Since 1918, Glasgow has been characterised by depopulation, urban decay and industrial decline. Over the same period Thessaloniki has experienced rapid urban expansion, population growth and industrialisation.
  3. A fifth of Russia’s total strategic nuclear arsenal are at present based in the area. This could rise to nearly half within ten years.
  4. There is great doubt over the usefulness of cultural tourism as a theoretical term. Its usefulness as means of attracting visitors to urban sites seems almost unquestioned by local and national policy makers.
  5. The authorities that decide on entitlement to services are usually unaware of the extent and significance of the disabilities in Asperger's Syndrome (AS). Active participation on the part of the clinician, together with parents and possibly an advocate, is needed to forcefully pursue the patient's eligibility for services.
  6. The international public service-the staff of the United Nations system-has not been fairly judged. Many of its members have been selfless servants of all the member states of the United Nations and have devoted their lives to furthering the aims of the Charter.
  7. Edinburgh is smaller and in reality has fewer permanent cultural resources. Its huge international festival each autumn and its administrative and political significance have meant that it has enjoyed a much better image than Glasgow.
  8. The collapse of the WP and dissolution of the Soviet Union forced Russia to withdraw from Central and Eastern Europe. Russia lost its essential allies and access to ports, and shipyards, barracks, dry docks and much more along the southern and western littoral once used by the Russian fleet.
  9. Labels are necessary in order to secure services and guarantee a level of sophistication in addressing the child's needs. The assignment of a label should be done in a thoughtful way, so as to minimise stigmatisation and avoid unwarranted assumptions.

    © 2002 Martin Paterson

  10. The most obvious tourist commodity that cities can offer the tourist is culture, in other words art galleries, museums, historic buildings, concert halls etc. This has led to a policy of cultural tourism promotion in many post-industrial cities in order to aid the process of regeneration.
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