1887
The dynamicity of communication below, around and above the clause
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Abstract

This article offers a comparative view of a Systemic Functional (SF) account of Theme in English and Spanish declarative clauses. It considers the lexicogrammatical realization of Theme in both languages and shows how Themes across the clauses construe the method of development of a phase of discourse in the respective languages, unmarked Themes scaffolding textual continuity and marked Themes scaffolding transitions between discourse phases. The paper reviews the concept of Theme in Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) and analyzes texts in both languages, taking into account a trinocular perspective (Matthiessen & Halliday 2009): from above, considering textual discourse functions related to the lexicogrammatical function of Theme; from roundabout, considering other textual functions in the clause as New; and from below, paying attention to the role that different ranks may play in the realization of the function under focus. In addition, the paper argues for a re-interpretation of previous SFL accounts of Spanish Theme, on the assumptions of SFL language typology. Based on the analysis of fragments of Research Articles, the paper shows how English and Spanish texts perform similar strategies to maintain the method of development of a text, through the interaction between lexical strings and reference chains with the function of Theme (Fries 1981; Martin 1992). It is shown, however, that the lexicogrammatical realization of unmarked Theme differs between these languages.

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2016-06-20
2019-10-19
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): academic discourse , English , method of development , Spanish and Theme
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