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Redundancy and Readability

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Redundancy is, in itself something of an unknown quantity, and a number of researchers have been experimenting on it (Horning, 1979). Several years ago, H. J. Hsia, a Texas Tech communications theorist, clarified several different types of redundancy, providing important insights into the ways in which these different types of redundancy contribute to readability (Hsia, 1977). Hsia's research helps to isolate some of the unknown elements in readability, and these elements look as if they have the potential to bond neatly to the textual analysis system proposed in great detail by Walter Kintsch of the University of Colorado (Kintsch, 1974). Propositional analysis provides a system for objectively analyzing meaning in a text, and may yield a measure of the properties of redundancy described by Hsia. If so, the result will be a much purer analysis of the nature of readability.

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