1887
Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1874-8767
  • E-ISSN: 1874-8775
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

In a series of extremely influential articles published in the 1960s, Halliday illustrated that what the Prague School labelled as Theme was formed out of two separate but related systems which he labelled Theme and Information ( 1967a & b ). However, as Information is a system grounded in spoken language, this separation has had the unfortunate consequence of prioritising the study of Theme in written language. The Thematic structure of spoken language and especially the interplay of Theme and intonation has been consequently neglected. The prosodic system of Key ( Brazil 1997 ) functions like Theme to ground a message in its local context and signal how it is to be developed. This study, by uniquely examining the interplay between Theme and Key, is able to identify a number of novel meanings, the most significant of which is a focus on the enabling of Interpersonal meanings. By so doing, it illustrates that the full semogenetic meaning making potential of Theme, as an unfolding orientating device in spoken discourse, can only be revealed by examining the prosodic realisation of the Theme choices.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/etc.10.2.05ogr
2017-10-06
2019-10-18
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Bäcklund, Ingegerd
    1992 Theme in English telephone conversation. Language Sciences14 (4): 545–565. doi: 10.1016/0388‑0001(92)90029‑E
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0388-0001(92)90029-E [Google Scholar]
  2. Berry, Margaret
    1996 What is Theme? A(nother) personal view. InMeaning and Form: Systemic Functional Interpretations, Robin P. Fawcett , Margaret Berry , Christopher Butler & Huang Guowen (eds). Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1–64.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. 2013 Contentful and contentlight subject themes in informal spoken English and formal written English. InChoice in Language: Applications in Text Analysis, Gerard O’Grady , Tom Bartlett & Lise Fontaine (eds). Sheffield: Equinox, 243–268.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Boersma, Paul & David Weenink
    2010Praat doing Phonetics by Computer. Computer programme. Version 5.3.52.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Brazil, David
    1997The Communicative Value of Intonation in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Daneš, František
    1972 Order of elements and sentence intonation. InIntonation, Dwight Bolinger (ed.). Harmondsworth: Penguin, 216–232.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Davidse, Kristin
    1987 M. A. K. Halliday’s Functional Grammar and the Prague School. InFunctionalism in Linguistics, René Dirven & Vilem Fried (eds). Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 39–79. doi: 10.1075/llsee.20.04dav
    https://doi.org/10.1075/llsee.20.04dav [Google Scholar]
  8. Downing, Angela
    1991 An alternative approach to Theme: A systemic-functional perspective. Word42 (2): 119–143. doi: 10.1080/00437956.1991.11435835
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00437956.1991.11435835 [Google Scholar]
  9. Firbas, Jan
    1987 On the delimination of the Theme in Functional Sentence Perspective. InFunctionalism in Linguistics, René Dirven & Vilem Fried (eds). Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 137–156. doi: 10.1075/llsee.20.08fir
    https://doi.org/10.1075/llsee.20.08fir [Google Scholar]
  10. Forey, Gail & Geoff Thompson
    2008Text Type and Structure. London: Equinox.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Forey, Gail & Nicholas Sampson
    2017 Textual metafunction and Theme: What’s ‘it’ about. InThe Routledge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics, Tom Bartlett & Gerard O’Grady (eds). London: Routledge, 131–145.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Fries, Peter H.
    1981 On the status of Theme in English: Arguments from discourse. Forum Linguisticum6 (1): 1–38.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. 1995 Themes, method of developments and texts. InOn Subject and Theme: A Discourse Functional Perspective, Ruqaiya Hasan & Peter H. Fries (eds). Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 317–360. doi: 10.1075/cilt.118.10fri
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.118.10fri [Google Scholar]
  14. Ghadessy, Mohsen
    1995Thematic Development in English Texts. London: Pinter.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Glaser, Barney G. & Anselm L. Strauss
    1967The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Chicago, IL: Aldine.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Gómez González, Mária de los Ángeles
    2001The Theme-Topic Interface: Evidence from English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.71
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.71 [Google Scholar]
  17. Halliday, M. A. K
    1967a Notes on transitivity and theme in English: Part 1. Journal of Linguistics3 (2): 199–244. doi: 10.1017/S0022226700016613
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226700016613 [Google Scholar]
  18. 1967bIntonation and Grammar in British English. The Hague: Mouton. doi: 10.1515/9783111357447
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783111357447 [Google Scholar]
  19. 1994Introduction to Functional Grammar, 2nd ed. London: Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Halliday, M. A. K. & Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen
    2004Introduction to Functional Grammar, 3rd ed. London: Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. 2014Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar, 4th ed. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Halliday, M. A. K. & William S. Greaves
    2008Intonation in the Grammar of English. London: Equinox.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Halliday, M. A. K. & James R. Martin
    1993Writing Science: Literacy and Discursive Power. London: Falmer Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Henderson, Eugénie J. A
    1971The Indispensable Foundation: A Selection from the Writings of Henry Sweet. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Martin, James R.
    1992English Text: System and Structure. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/z.59
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.59 [Google Scholar]
  26. Mathiessen, Christian
    1995 THEME as an enabling resource in ideational ‘knowledge’ construction. InThematic Development in English Texts, Mohsen Ghadessy (ed.). London: Pinter, 20–54.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Matthiessen, Christian M. I. M. , Teruya Kazuhiro & Marvin Lam
    2009Key Terms in Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Nakajima, Shin’ya & James F. Allan
    1993 A study of prosody and discourse structure in cooperative dialogues. Phonetica50: 197–210. doi: 10.1159/000261940
    https://doi.org/10.1159/000261940 [Google Scholar]
  29. O’Grady, Gerard
    2010A Grammar of Spoken English Discourse: The Intonation of Increments. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. 2013 An investigation of how intonation signals information structure. InSystemic Phonology: Recent Studies in English, Wendy S. Bowcher & Bradley A. Smith (eds). London: Equinox, 27–52.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. 2016 Given/New: What do the terms refer to? A first (small) step. English Text Construction9 (1): 9–32. doi: 10.1075/etc.9.1.02ogr
    https://doi.org/10.1075/etc.9.1.02ogr [Google Scholar]
  32. 2017 Intonation and systemic functional linguistics: The way forward. InThe Routledge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics, Tom Bartlett & Gerard O’Grady (eds). London: Routledge, 146–162.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Tench, Paul
    1990The Roles of Intonation in English Discourse. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. 1996The Intonation Systems of English. London: Cassell.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Thompson, Geoff
    2007 Unfolding Theme: The development of clausal and textual perspectives on Theme. InContinuing Discourse on Language: A Functional Perspective, Vol. 2, Ruqaiya Hasan , Christian Matthiessen & Jonathan J. Webster (eds). London: Equinox, 671–696.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Thompson, Geoff & Susan Thompson
    2007 Theme: Subject and the unfolding of text. InText, Type and Texture, Gail Forey & Geoff Thompson (eds). London: Equinox, 45–69.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Wichmann, Anne
    2000Intonation in Text and Discourse. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/etc.10.2.05ogr
Loading
/content/journals/10.1075/etc.10.2.05ogr
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): interpersonal meaning , Key , prosody , spoken discourse and Theme
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error