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Language means of expressing theme and rheme. Focality and topicality. Презентация подготовлена Лидией Караваевой, студенткой ф- та иностр. яз РГПУ им.

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Presentation on theme: "Language means of expressing theme and rheme. Focality and topicality. Презентация подготовлена Лидией Караваевой, студенткой ф- та иностр. яз РГПУ им."— Presentation transcript:

1 Language means of expressing theme and rheme. Focality and topicality. Презентация подготовлена Лидией Караваевой, студенткой ф- та иностр. яз РГПУ им. А.И.Герцена, группа 2па, 2009г.

2 The theme expresses the starting point of the communication The theme expresses the starting point of the communication The rheme expresses the basic informative part of the communication The rheme expresses the basic informative part of the communication

3 The theme of the actual division of the sentence may or may not coincide with the subject of the sentence. The theme of the actual division of the sentence may or may not coincide with the subject of the sentence. The rheme of the actual division, in its turn, may or may not coincide with the predicate of the sentence either with the whole predicate group or its part, such as the predicative, the object, the adverbial. The rheme of the actual division, in its turn, may or may not coincide with the predicate of the sentence either with the whole predicate group or its part, such as the predicative, the object, the adverbial.

4 Ex. 1. The theme is expressed by the subject, while the rheme is expressed by the predicate: Stewie didnt like his breakfast Stewie didnt like his breakfast

5 Again Homer is being happy! Again Homer is being happy!

6 Ex. 2. The theme is expressed by the predicate or its part, while the rheme is rendered by the subject: Through the open window came the sound of an approaching police car. Through the open window came the sound of an approaching police car.

7 Who is coming late but the Rabbit! Who is coming late but the Rabbit!

8 Formal means of expressing the distinction between the theme and the rheme: word-order patterns word-order patterns intonation contours intonation contours constructions with introducers constructions with introducers syntactic patterns of contrastive complexes syntactic patterns of contrastive complexes constructions with articles and other determiners constructions with articles and other determiners constructions with intensifying particles constructions with intensifying particles

9 Focality and topicality. topicality characterizing the things we talk about topicality characterizing the things we talk about focality characterizing the most important or salient parts of what we say about the topical things focality characterizing the most important or salient parts of what we say about the topical things

10 Special distinctive treatment is given to some topical or focal element, we assign it the pragmatic function of Topic (topicality) or Focus (focality)

11 Different types of focus according to SCOPE (= what part of the underlying clause structure is in focus): Different types of focus according to SCOPE (= what part of the underlying clause structure is in focus): I did not buy a bike, I bought a car (argument) I did not buy a bike, I bought a car (argument) I did not paint the house, I sold it (predicate) I did not paint the house, I sold it (predicate) Peter did not solve the problem (π- operator) Peter did not solve the problem (π- operator)

12 Different types of focus according to COMMUNICATIVE POINT (= what pragmatic reasons underlie the assignment of Focus to the relevant part of the underlying clause structure): Q-word- and yes/no-question-answer pairs (completive / new)

13 Contrastive focus: John and Bill came to see me. John was nice, but Bill was boring (parallel) John and Bill came to see me. John was nice, but Bill was boring (parallel)

14 counter-presuppositional types of focus: Replacing: Replacing: John bought coffee. – No, he bought rice. John bought coffee. – No, he bought rice. John grows potatoes. – No, he doesnt grow them, he sells them. John grows potatoes. – No, he doesnt grow them, he sells them.

15 Expanding: Expanding: John bought coffee, but he also bought rice. John bought coffee, but he also bought rice. He is not only going to buy bananas, hes also going to sell them. He is not only going to buy bananas, hes also going to sell them.

16 Restricting: Restricting: John bought coffee and rice. – No, he only bought coffee. John bought coffee and rice. – No, he only bought coffee. It seems John grows and sells potatoes. – No, he only sells them. It seems John grows and sells potatoes. – No, he only sells them.

17 Selecting: Selecting: Would you like coffee or tea? – Coffee, please. Would you like coffee or tea? – Coffee, please.

18 Thank you! Herzen University 2009 Karavayeva Lidia


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