Lexical Cohesion Analysis Found in Michael Jackson’s Song Lyrics


  • Rahmat Rahmat
  • Nova Rina
  • Al Azwad Fauzan


oke-width: 0px; "> Lexical cohesion is concerned on the relationship of words and phrases of the text.
The lexical cohesive within a text or sentence holds a text together and gives it meaning. As
we know, the purpose of text is as media of convertig spoken language into writen language.
The lyric in a song is one of texts. It emphasizes expression, thought or idea and individual
feeling of the singer, either solo singer or group. Lyric of the song contains of poetic
Ianguage and sometimes uneasy to comprehend it. Besides poetic Ianguage, a song lyric also
contain lexical cohesion. Lexical cohesion involves the choice of vocabulary. It consist two
types which are reitaration and collocation. The lyric of the song applyies lexical cohesion
through combining words, phrases and sentence which has related idea refers to the tpoic of
the song. The use of lexical cohesion in song lyrics is to assist the listener to understand the
meaning of lyrics at the song. It means, lexical cohesion in the song lyrics is used to
emphasize the idea or meaning related to the topic of the song. Therefore, this research is aim
to identify and to describe lexical cohesion types and its function as found in Michael
Jackson’s song lyrics.
In this study, the writer use lexical cohesion theory proposed by Halliday and Hasan
which is supported with Brian Paltridge’ theory. Halliday and Hasan (1976) state that lexical
cohesion is a group of words which is lexically cohesive when all of the words are
semantically related; for example, when they are all concerned with the same topic. All that is
required is that there be some recognizable relation between the words. Lexical cohesion
refers to relationship in meaning between lexical items in a text (Paltridge, 2008:133). From
the both lexical cohesion theory between Halliday and Hasan’ and Brian Paltridge, it is
derived the types of lexical cohesion used in the analysis as follows; Firstly, Repetition is
lexical cohesion that repeats the constituent. Secondly, Synonymy or near-synonym is the
words that have similarity in meaning. Thirdly, Antonymy is lexical cohesion that
relationship between constituents that have different meaning. Fourthly, Hyponymy is a
lexical cohesion that relationship between constituent that has general meaning called sub
ordinate and constituent that specific meaning called hyponymy. Fifthly, Meronymy is the
connection between part and whole meaning relation. It means that some word can replace by
other words which have a part of whole meaning relation. Sixthly, Collocation is the regular
pattern of relationships between words. Each lexical cohesion item show its function in build
cohesive in song lyrics which is related to the topic of the song. For example repetition can be
defined as literary device that repeat the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea
clearer (Haliday & Hasan, 1976). Lexical cohesion is used to link word and word, phrase and
phrase within a text and to indicate co-occurrence of words whose meanings are related in the
same environment (Halliday and Hasan, 1976). All those theory of lexical cohesion above are
very helpful in analyzing lexical cohesion which found in Michael Jackson’ song lyrics.
The type of research is descriptive qualitative. Sheman and Webb (1988) assume that
Qualitative research aims to understand the social phenomena under study. It concerned with
meaning as they appear to, or are achieved by persons in lived social situations. Therefore,
qualitative analysis focuses on the designation of meaning and description of data in
contextual prespective which are described in terms of words. In this research, the writer used
design of descriptive method which is a method of research that attempt to describe and
interpret the objects in accordance with reality. The descriptive method is implemented
because the data analysis is presented descriptively. The object of this research are the words,
phrases and sentences in Michael Jackson’s song lyrics in his album entitled Dangerous.
There are 9 songs in this album namely Black or White, Remember the Time, In The Closet,
Chilhood, Who is It, Heal The World, Give in to Me, Will You Be There and Gone Too Soon.
The technique of collecting data in this research uses bibliography technique to collect data.
Bibliography technique means using written sources to get data. Written sources are chosen
which describe synchronic language use. It is support by using text documentation and notetaking technique. The collecting data follows these steps: (a)Identifying data which is
restricted for the goal of the research. In this case, Michael Jackson’ song lyrics, (b)download
the data from the website that provide Michael Jackson’ song lyrics, and (c)print out the song
lyrics as texts. The technique of data analysis use discourse analysis. After data is collected,
the next process is analyzing data. The steps of the proccess are (a)identifying the data that
contain lexical cohesion devices, (b) classifying the data based on the lexical cohesion types
describing the data, (c)analyze the data and (d)make a conclusion.
Based on findings and discussion, in 9 Michael Jackson songs lyrics from the album
entitled Dangerous, there are five types of lexical cohesion found in song lyrics. The types
consist of repetition, synonym, hyponym, antonym and collocation. While the meronym type
is not found in every song lyrics contained in the album. The most type of lexical cohesion
appear is repetition. Repetition occur in the song lyrics mostly affected by its nature. Refrain
of the 9 songs of Michael Jackson on the album Dangerous (1991) contain the use of
repetition in each of the lyrics. Synonymy functions as an interlacing meaningful relationship
between certain lingual units with other lingual units in text. Antonymy describes opposite or
contrastive meanings but it contributes to cohesion and coherence of the text. In general, the
functions of lexical cohesion found in Michael Jackson’s song lyrics which is represent by its
items are use to re-state, remind, emphasize words or phrases in the song. In conclusion,
lexical cohesion is used to describe the idea related to the topic of the song which cohesive to
build meaning, so that the meanings or passages are delivered to the audiences.
Keywords: Lexical cohesion, Descriptive Qualitative, Michael Jackson’s song lyrics

Author Biography

Rahmat Rahmat

Jurusan Sastra Asia Timur