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Grammar and Syntax

In: English and Literature

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Themes and Topics

Themes

* Theme, according to the text, tells what the sentence is all about and is considered as the first element of the sentence. Once the theme is identified the rest is then considered “the rheme”. The rheme here acts as the supporting details. According to Van Dijk, the theme is called the sentential topic which indicates a special function of semantic units. Thus, it has two main functions according to Brown and Yule, one is to connect back to the previous discourse another is to provide a starting point for the development of the discourse. Thematisation, therefore, plays an important part in the combination and sequencing of clauses.

Discourse Topic

* The theme of the text is called “discourse topic”. However, as Fries would stress, the first sentence of the text does not usually contain its discourse topic. Sentence topics are different from discourse topics, but not completely independent of them. The topic of the sentence is the main element of the discourse topic.

Marcrostructures

* Macrostructures derives the topic of discourse from the text and is has one or more macropropositions which expresses the discourse topic of the text. Macropropositions are derived by mean of macrorules. Macrorules summarises and reduces information. Thus, it has three kinds: deletion, generalization and construction.

Headlines and leads * Headlines and leads have an important role in news stories, because they are supposed to summarize the most important points of the article and orient it in a specific direction. However, sometimes headlines may express secondary topics. Headlines of this kind are called "biased" as well as lead too. The discourse topic is the main topic of the article. We are able to discover possible bias by comparing the headline and lead with the discourse topic of the article. If they reflect the…...

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