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Positioned on the intersection between the research fields of text linguistics, genre studies and expert-lay communication, this article investigates how and to what extent coherence is achieved in a specific type of summary writing, viz. so-called non-technical summaries (NTS) of financial/economic reports published by the European Central Bank. The investigation is motivated by the observation that while it is incumbent on the writer of any type of document to ensure coherence in his/her product, the special circumstances surrounding summary writing (the fact that summaries are typically required to condense large amounts of information into very limited space) may militate against a sufficient degree of coherence in such texts. Relying to a large extent on the so-called Cohesive Harmony Analysis framework provided by Systemic-Functional Linguistics, the investigation found that while the texts do succeed in employing cohesive devices in such ways and to such an extent that a clear potential for coherence is present, they fail to exploit the potential in a way that makes them properly coherent.
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Summary writing, financial reports, expert-lay communication, cohesion, coherence