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Language, Function, Cognition:

Week 5: The Dynamics of Language

Mick O’Donnell

5. Dynamics of Language 5.1.1 Theme in the clause: Hallidayan Model • Theme: “what the clause is about” • In English and Spanish, the first constituent of the clause: John loves Mary Theme

Rheme

Mary

is loved by John

Theme

Rheme

• The rest of the clause is called the “Rheme” • May be marked in other ways in other languages (e.g., “wa” particle in Japanese)

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5. Dynamics of Language 5.1.1 Theme in the clause: Hallidayan Model Types of Theme 1. Subject Theme (Unmarked theme) John

loves Mary

Theme

Rheme

2. Adjunct Theme (partially marked) On a clear day,

you can see forever

Theme

Rheme

3. Fronted Objects and Complements (Marked Themes) Fish

I like

Theme

Rheme

A good bargain

it is not!

Theme

Rheme

5. Dynamics of Language 5.1.1 Theme in the clause Different Themes (i.e. different types of information in thematic position, realized as different constituents of the clause) create different contexts for the message in the clause, and different expectations in the reader or hearer. 1-6 show the same content organized differently from the point of view of Theme: RHEME yellow canaries have been used to ‘test’ the air in mining. have been used to ‘test’ the air in mining for centuries. have used yellow canaries to ‘test’ the air for centuries. yellow canaries have been used to ‘test’ the air for centuries. 5 The air has been ‘tested’ in mining for centuries by using yellow canaries. 6 To ‘test’ the air yellow canaries have been used for centuries. in mining, 1 2 3 4

THEME For centuries Yellow canaries Miners In mining,

From Thompson, Introducing Functional Grammar

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5. Dynamics of Language 5.1.1 Theme in the clause: Halliday’s Model • While the previous slides have assumed a clause has a single theme, in the full Halliday model the theme can have up to 3 components: – Topical Theme: the first element that expresses ideational content (typically the Subject, Object, or an Adjunct except the adjuncts which serve textual and interpersonal functions: – Interpersonal theme: elements which express the speaker’s attitude to the proposition, e.g., modal adjuncts (probably, possibly, unfortunately, surprisingly, etc.) – Textual theme: connectives to the prior discourse, e.g., thus, and, but, however, well, in other words, finally… and

surprisingly,

he

was ready!

Theme textual

interpersonal

Rheme topical

5. Dynamics of Language 5.1.1 Theme in the clause: Halliday’s Model • An adjunct can be the topical theme: and

on Friday Theme

textual

Dad came home early. Rheme

topical

• The theme element ends with the topical theme: and

he Theme

textual

surprisingly was ready! Rheme

topical

• But many SFLers ignore textual/interpersonal themes and just focus on the topical ones, sometimes just called Theme by itself.

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5. Dynamics of Language 5.1.2 Theme in the clause: Berry’s Model • Berry’s model differs from Halliday’s: Main difference: Distinguishes between: – “Basic Theme” (the Subject or fronted Complement) and – “Additional Theme” (any fronted Adjuncts) Halliday:

Berry:

On a clear day,

you can see forever

Theme

Rheme

On a clear day,

you

can see forever

Add. Theme

Basic Theme

Rheme

5. Dynamics of Language 5.1.3 Readings • • •

HALLIDAY, M.A.K. and C.M.I.M. MATTHIESSEN (2004) Introduction to Functional Grammar. 3rd ed. London: Edward Arnold. Chapter 3 THOMPSON, G. (2004) Introducing Functional Grammar. 2nd edition, London: Edward Arnold. Chapter 6. DOWNING, A and P. LOCKE (2002) A University Course in English Grammar. Routledge, London/New York/Canada. Chapter 6.

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Part 2: Thematic Progression

5. Dynamics of Language 5.2 Theme in the text: thematic progression • The basic assumption is that the sequence of themes selected throughout a text are not random. • Nor are they totally the consequence of other factors (e.g., passives to hide agency) • The sequence of themes in a text are chosen by the writer so as to create a coherent text. • Called “Method Method of Development Development” (Fries) or “Thematic Thematic Progression Progression” (Danes). “…by analyzing the thematic structure of a text clause by clause, we can gain an insight into its texture and understand how the writer makes clear to us the nature of his underlying concerns” (Halliday Introduction to Functional Grammar (1985), p67.

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5. Dynamics of Language 5.2 Theme in the text: thematic progression • In 1470 the Columbus Family moved to Savona, where Domenico took over a tavern. In the same year, Columbus was on a Genoese ship hired in the service of René I of Anjou to support his attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Naples. In 1473 Columbus began his apprenticeship as business agent for the important Centurione, Di Negro and Spinola families of Genoa. Later he allegedly made a trip to Chios, a Genoese colony in the Aegean Sea. In May 1476, he took part in an armed convoy sent by Genoa to carry a valuable cargo to northern Europe. He docked in Bristol, Galway, in Ireland and was possibly in Iceland in 1477. In 1479 Columbus reached his brother Bartolomeo in Lisbon, keeping on trading for the Centurione family. He married Filipa Moniz Perestrello, daughter of the Porto Santo governor, the Portuguese nobleman of Genoese origin Bartolomeu Perestrello. In 1479 or 1480, his son Diego was born. (FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Columbus)



Hallidayan Theme Theme: first element of structure (except conjunctions) Theme In 1470

Rheme the Columbus Family moved to Savona, where Domenico took over a tavern. In the same year, Columbus was on a Genoese ship hired in the service of René I of Anjou to support his attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Naples. In 1473

Columbus began his apprenticeship as business agent for the important Centurione, Di Negro and Spinola families of Genoa. Later He allegedly made a trip to Chios, a Genoese colony in the Aegean Sea. In May 1476, He took part in an armed convoy sent by Genoa to carry a valuable cargo to northern Europe. He docked in Bristol, Galway, in Ireland and was possibly in Iceland in 1477. In 1479 Columbus reached his brother Bartolomeo in Lisbon, keeping on trading for the Centurione family. He married Filipa Moniz Perestrello, daughter of the Porto Santo governor, the Portuguese nobleman of Genoese origin Bartolomeu Perestrello. In 1479 or 1480, his son Diego was born.

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Berry separates fronted adjunct as separate element: doing this, one can see that the Theme line is always about Columbus and his family, fronted Adjuncts are used to change time. Conj

Adjunct In 1470 In the same year, In 1473

Basic Theme the Columbus Family Columbus Columbus

Later

He

In May 1476,

he

and In 1479

He (he) Columbus He

In 1479 or 1480,

his son Diego

Rheme moved to Savona, where Domenico took over a tavern. was on a Genoese ship hired in the service of René I of Anjou to support his attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Naples. began his apprenticeship as business agent for the important Centurione, Di Negro and Spinola families of Genoa. allegedly made a trip to Chios, a Genoese colony in the Aegean Sea. took part in an armed convoy sent by Genoa to carry a valuable cargo to northern Europe. docked in Bristol, Galway, in Ireland was possibly in Iceland in 1477. reached his brother Bartolomeo in Lisbon, keeping on trading for the Centurione family. married Filipa Moniz Perestrello, daughter of the Porto Santo governor, the Portuguese nobleman of Genoese origin Bartolomeu Perestrello. was born.

• Coming from San Francisco, go over the Golden Gate Bridge and continue going north on 101 until you get to Petaluma. Take the first off ramp. This will be Petaluma Blvd. South, actually the old highway. Go on into the center of town. On your left, you will see Walnut Park. Go a few blocks further to Western Avenue. Turn left. This will take you out of town. From Petaluma Blvd., you will be traveling 1.9 miles before you need to make another turn. While on Western Ave., be looking for 2 signs on your right. They will say, "Walker Creek Ranch" and "Helen Putnam Park". The signs will direct you to your left. Turn left. This will be Chileno Valley Road, and is marked with a small street sign as well. (From: http://www.chilenobnb.com/directions.html)

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Berry--style analysis Berry Conj

Adjunct Coming from San Francisco,

and

On your left,

and

Basic Theme Rheme over the Golden Gate Bridge go continue Take This Go you Go Turn

This From Petaluma you Blvd., While on be Western Ave., They The signs Turn This (it)

going north on 101 until you get to Petaluma. the first off ramp. will be Petaluma Blvd. South, actually the old highway. on into the center of town. will see Walnut Park. a few blocks further to Western Avenue. left. will take you out of town. will be traveling 1.9 miles before you need to make another turn. looking for 2 signs on your right. will say, "Walker Creek Ranch" and "Helen Putnam Park". will direct you to your left. left. will be Chileno Valley Road, is marked with a small street sign as well.

Hallidayan Theme Marrickville Council To that end To assist in promoting increased dog awareness

Rheme believes that the education of dog owners about their responsibilities is preferable to prosecutions and fines the Council endorses all efforts to make dog owners aware of the Laws regarding their dog and the reason behind them. Council is supplying [this booklet as a tool for dog owners to become better equipped in the day-to-day management and care of their pet].

Berry Additional Theme Central Theme

Marrickville Council To that end

the Council

To assist in promoting increased dog awareness

Council

Rheme

believes that the education of dog owners about their responsibilities is preferable to prosecutions and fines endorses all efforts to make dog owners aware of the Laws regarding their dog and the reason behind them. is supplying [this booklet as a tool for dog owners to become better equipped in the day-to-day management and care of their pet].

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5. Dynamics of Language 5.2.2 Elements of Thematic progression • In a continuous text, the Theme (as Subject) usually draws upon an entity introduced earlier in the text (obviously except the first sentence) Constant Theme Linear theme (Digression)

This brooch was designed by Jessie M. King. It

is in the Art Noveaux style

This brooch was designed by Jessie M. King. King was British. This brooch was designed by Jessie M. King.

Theme Return

King was British. It

Derived Theme

is made of enamel and silver.

King was Scottish. Her husband was also an artist.

Berry--style analysis Berry Conj

Adjunct Coming from San Francisco,

and

Basic Theme go continue Take This Go

Rheme over the Golden Gate Bridge

 going north on 101 until you get to Petaluma.  the first off ramp.  will be Petaluma Blvd. South, actually the old highway.  on into the center of town.

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5. Dynamics of Language 5.4 Thematic Progression and Genre • In some cases, the basic thematic patterns are defined by the genre:

– Description of objects/people: • Basic pattern will be a sequence of sentences with the entity being the theme: The Mona Lisa is a 16th-century portrait. It was painted by Leonardo da Vinci

• In some cases, derived themes will be used to describe related aspects of the entity. The picture depicts a seated women. The history of the panel has been much discussed.

• Digressions (linear theme) will also occur, providing more detail of the entities introduced in the Rhemes: The picture depicts a seated women. She is believed to be Lisa del Giocondo

Conj

and

and

Adjunct

Theme

Rheme

Mona Lisa (also known as La Gioconda or La Joconde)

is a 16th-century portrait painted in oil on a poplar panel by Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci during the Renaissance in Florence, Italy.

The work

is currently owned by the Government of France.

(it)

is on display at the Musée du Louvre in Paris under the title Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo.

The painting

is a half-length portrait

(it)

depicts a seated woman whose facial expression is frequently described as enigmatic.

The ambiguity of the subject's expression, the monumentality of the composition, and the subtle modeling of forms and atmospheric illusionism

were novel qualities that have contributed to the continuing fascination and study of the work.

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5. Dynamics of Language 5.2.3 Thematic Progression and Genre

• History Recount: – Basic pattern is again themes being persons or places of historical interest. The Soviet Union and the U.S. emerged as opposing superpowers… Liberalism reflected in the civil rights movemen

– Fronted Adjuncts will be used to mark change of time period: In 1770, Cook reached Botany Bay.

5. Dynamics of Language 5.2.3 Thematic Progression and Genre

• Instructions: – Basic pattern: theme is either the reader or the action they perform: Adjunct

Theme

Rheme

Tell

us what matters most to your group and the people in your community.

What

are the most important points you want to get across?

Think

about examples of good practice, as well as areas that should be improved.

Read

about the new essential standards for quality and safety that we expect all health and social care services to meet.

We

are interested in all recent experiences of care.

You

should ...

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5. Dynamics of Language 5.2.4 Editing Theme to Improve Document Impact • The choice of thematic pattern says something about a company or institution. – Corporate Focus: Focus – Customer Focus Focus: – Product Focus: Focus

We sell watering systems for home gardens You can buy watering systems for your garden. Watering systems for home gardens are available.

Before (corporate focus):

In summer,

Make

our Tourist Information Centre your first call.

Our friendly team We We we

provide an extensive range of services ... can book accommodation ... supply tickets for local events ... organise a varied programme of Scenic Coach Tours of the Cotswalds stock a wide range of maps, walking trails... can help you with advice on ...

We We

After (product focus): Make An extensive range of services Accomodation Tickets for local events A varied programme of Scenic Coach Tours of the Cotswalds A wide range of maps, walking trails, etc. If you need advice on...

our Tourist Information Centre your first call. is provided by our friendly team... can be booked for you... are available... can be booked during summer. are available in the office we can help

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5. Dynamics of Language 5.2.5 Maintaining thematic progression in translation • In different languages, the unmarked form for expression can vary. • Sometimes under translation, the translator, in looking for the best translation of individual sentences, and does not maintain the Method of Development of the original text. • Original: – Det er lett å overse blindhet i tidlig spedbarnsa blikkbevegelsene tilsynelatende ser normale ut [It is easy to overlook blindness in early infancy because eye movements seemingly normal are] • Translated as: – Blindness easily goes undetected in early infancy because looking movements seem normal • If the translator is aware of the method of development f a text, they can try to preserve these patterns under translation.

5. Dynamics of Language 5.1.3 Readings on Thematic progression •







Fries, P. H. (1981/1983) “On the status of theme in English: arguments from discourse”. Forum Linguisticum 6.1: 1-38. [Reprinted in J.S Petöfi and E. Sozer (eds.) Micro and macro connexity of texts. Hamburg: Buske. 116152.] Fries, P.H. (1995b) “Themes, methods of development, and texts”. In R. Hasan and P. H. Fries (eds.) On subject and theme: a discourse functional perspective. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 317-359. Crompton “Theme in discourse: 'thematic progression' and 'method of development' re-valuated” http://www.lattice.cnrs.fr/IMG/doc/Crompton_paper.doc Sylvi Rørvik, “Thematic Progression in Translation from English into Norwegian”. http://ojs.ub.gu.se/ojs/index.php/njes/article/viewFile/220/217

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Part 3: Text as Process

5. Dynamics of Language 5.3 Text as Process • Most work in Discourse Analysis looks at written texts as finished products. • It is interesting to look at how texts evolve from the first word to the last.

This brooch was designed by Jessie King.

This brooch was designed by Jessie King. It is in the Art Deco style.

This brooch was designed by Jessie King. She was sciottish. It is in the Art Deco style.

This brooch was designed by Jessie King. She was Scottish. It is in the Art Deco style.

Mick: a text is just what is left when the writing process is done: it is the corpse of the creative process.

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5. Dynamics of Language 5.3 Text as Process Advantage of the Process approach: teaching writing. • From which of the following can you learn more about how to paint? A picture?

• Or….

5. Dynamics of Language 5.3 Text as Process Advantage of the Process approach: teaching writing. • Traditional approach: just present students with good texts and ask them to emulate it. • Process approach: show the student how to transform a blank

page into a finished text, step by step. – Idea of basic text templates to start a text (beginning/middle/end; list of facts, etc.) – Use of Rhetorical relations to flesh out the text (e.g., evidence, example, reason, consequence, etc.) – See article by Donald Murray (U.S. Process Writing School)

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5. Dynamics of Language 5.3 Text as Process A study on the dynamics of text: • We set up a webpage asking people to write short (500 word texts): narratives, argumentative, descriptive. • Keylogging: The page was constructed to capture individual keystrokes, changes of position in the text, and pauses between these actions. – When the subjects pressed the submit button, this information was recorded, along with the final version of the text. • 25 texts were collected from this study.

5. Dynamics of Language 5.3 Text as Process Research Questions: • Does the examination of text process provide information as to what theory of text structure best explains what human writers actually do? – Thematic progression: the text is constructed centred on a particular theme, and digressions away from this theme. – Generic Structure (top down structuring) – Rhetorical Sturcturing (structuring of sentences together in terms of how they support each other)

• Probably all of these are used, but depending on the writer, and also depending on the kind of text.

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3. Choice in the Text Composition Process • Choices in GSP-controlled text production [academic essay] Introduction

Define Problem



Other people’s solutions

Body

Current Approach

Conclusions

References

Structure of Paper

A top-down approach to text production

3. Choice in the Text Composition Process • RST-controlled text production In the other direction, just a minute or two's walk from our house is Roath Park, one part of which is the part that houses Roath Lake. comment

Having a green space like this close to our house is a plus.

justify It gives you a place to walk around in relative peace and with nice

surroundings, pretty much right on your doorstep. justify Myself and friends also make use of the Rec. - another part of Roath

Park - to play football on. •

An incremental approach to text production

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5. Dynamics of Language 5.3 Text as Process

• Viewing Texts Dynamically

5. Dynamics of Language 5.3 Readings on Text as Process •

Murray, Donald M 1972 “Teach Writing as a Process Not Product”. The Leaflet (November 1972): 11-14. Reprinted in Richard L. Graces, (ed.) Rhetoric and Composition: A Sourcebook for Teachers and Writers. Upper Monclrair, NJ: Boynton/Cook, 1984. 89-92. [PDF]

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Slides for the class

Language, Function, Cognition: Week 5: The Dynamics of Language Mick O’Donnell 5. Dynamics of Language 5.1.1 Theme in the clause: Hallidayan Model ...

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