On Subject and Theme

A discourse functional perspective

Editors
| Macquarie University
| Central Michigan University
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027236210 (Eur) | EUR 130.00
ISBN 9781556195723 (USA) | USD 195.00
 
PaperbackAvailable
ISBN 9789027236579 (Eur) | EUR 36.00
ISBN 9781556198687 (USA) | USD 54.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027297754 | EUR 130.00/36.00*
| USD 195.00/54.00*
 
The ten papers in this volume focus on Subject and Theme. Theme began its life as a semantic notion in the work of Vilém Mathesius, while Subject has traditionally been seen as just a syntactic entity. More recently two related perspectives on these concepts have attracted linguists' attention: the formal criteria for their recognition and the relations between the two concepts. Using the systemic functional model as their point of departure, the papers in the present volume consider the two notions in a wider context by relating them to the interpersonal and textual metafunctions of language. By contrast with the current linguistic approaches, the primary focus here is neither simply on formal recognition criteria nor on the relation of these elements to each other; instead, the notions of Subject and Theme are examined from the point of view of their function in the economy of discourse, with studies of their significance in English and French, as well as in a range of non-Indo-European languages. Definitions of the concepts are offered on the basis of their discourse functions, which are also important in selecting the formal recognition criteria and in understanding their mutually supportive role vis à vis each other.
Most of the papers in the volume are a selection from presentations made at the 19th International Systemic Functional Congress at Macquarie University.
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 118]  1995.  xlvi, 414 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Reflections on subject and theme: An introduction
Ruqaiya Hasan † and Peter H. Fries
xiii
1. Approaching the French clause as a movie in dialogue: interpersonal organisation
Alice Caffarel-Cayron
1
2. Mood and the Ecosocial dynamics of semiotic exchange
Paul J. Thibault
51
3. The English ‘tag question’: A new analysis, is(n’t) it?
William B. McGregor
91
4. “Nothing” makes sense in Weri: A case of extensive ellipsis of nominals in a Papuan language
Maurice Boxwell
123
5. Subjectlessness and Honorifics in Japanese: A case of Textual contrual
Motoko Hori
151
6. A dynamic perspective: implications for metafunctional interaction and an understanding of theme
Louise J. Ravelli
187
7. On theme in Chinese: from clause to discourse
Fang Yan, Edward McDonald and Cheng Musheng
235
8. A systematic functional approach to the thematic structure of the old English clause
Michael J. Cummings
275
9. Themes, methods of development, and texts
Peter H. Fries
317
10. Defining and relating text segments: subject and theme in discourse
Carmel Cloran
361
Index
405
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  95008905