Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Fries (1981) hypothesises that the textual phenomena of ‘thematic progression’ (TP) (Danesˇ 1974) and ‘method of development’ (MOD) provide discourse evidence for the function proposed by Halliday (1967) for Theme, in particular that ‘initial position in the sentence, or sentence-level Theme, means “point of departure of the sentence as message”‘. This paper discusses the theoretical basis for this hypothesis, in particular the relation between TP and MOD, and reviews previous empirical research. Further research conducted by the author is described, into global proportions of TP, TP patterning, and the relation between TP and rhematic progression (RP) in a small corpus of 80 short argumentative texts. It was found that only small proportions of either argumentative text, or high-quality argumentative text could be considered as having a MOD. It was also found that texts had comparable levels of TP and RP. It is concluded that MOD is not a universal feature of discourse organisation, and therefore not conclusive evidence for Fries’s original hypothesis.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
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