The Thought Occurs

The Thought Occurs

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Theme And Mood


Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 85):
(i) Initial position in the English clause is meaningful in the construction of the clause as message; specifically, it has a thematic function.
(ii) Certain textual elements that orient the clause within the discourse, rhetorically and logically, are inherently thematic.
(iii) Certain other elements, textual and interpersonal, that set up a semantic relation with what precedes, or express the speaker’s angle or intended listener, are characteristically thematic; this includes finite operators, which signal one type of question.
(iv) These inherently and characteristically thematic elements lie outside the experiential structure of the clause; they have no status as participant, circumstance or process.
(v) Until one of these latter appears, the clause lacks an anchorage in the realm of experience; and this is what completes the thematic grounding of the message.

Unmarked Theme In Declarative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 73):
In a declarative clause, the typical pattern is one in which Theme is conflated with Subject; … We shall refer to the mappaing of Theme on to Subject as the unmarked Theme of a declarative clause. The Subject is the element that is chosen as Theme unless there is good reason for choosing something else.

Marked Themes In Declarative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 73, 74):
A Theme that is something other than the Subject, in a declarative clause, we shall refer to as a marked Theme. The most usual form of marked Theme is an adverbial group … or prepositional phrase … functioning as Adjunct in the clause. Least likely to be thematic is a Complement, which is a nominal group that is not functioning as Subject — something that could have been a Subject but is not … . Sometimes even the Complement from within a prepositional phrase functions as Theme … .

Theme In Exclamative Declarative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 74):
There is one sub-category of declarative clause that has a special thematic structure, namely the exclamative. These typically have an exclamatory WH-element as Theme … .

Theme In Polar Interrogative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 75, 76):
In a yes/no interrogative, which is a question about polarity, the element that functions as Theme is the element that embodies the expression of polarity, namely the Finite verbal operator. … but, since that is not an element in the experiential structure of the clause, the Theme extends over the following Subject as well.

Theme In WH- Interrogative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 75):
In a WH- interrogative, which is a search for a missing piece of information, the element that functions as Theme is the element that requests this information, namely the WH- element … whether Subject, Adjunct or Complement.

Theme In ‘You-&-Me’ Imperative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 76):
… here, let’s is clearly the unmarked choice of Theme.

Theme In ‘You’ Imperative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 76):
… although the ‘you’ can be made explicit as a Theme … this is clearly a marked choice; the more typical form is … with the verb in thematic position. … here, therefore, it is the Predicator that is the unmarked Theme.

Theme In Negative Imperative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 77):
… the principle is the same as with yes/no interrogatives: the unmarked Theme is don’t plus the following element, either Subject or Predicator. Again there is a marked form with you, … where the Theme is don’t you. There is also a marked contrastive form of the positive, … where the Theme is do plus the Predicator … .

Predicator As Theme

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 77):
The imperative is the only type of clause in which the Predicator (the verb) is regularly found as Theme. This is not impossible in other moods … but in such clauses it is the most highly marked choice of all.

Adjunct As Theme In Imperative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 78):
Imperative clauses may have a marked Theme, as when a locative Adjunct is thematic in a clause giving directions … The adjunct part of a phrasal verb may serve as marked Theme in an imperative clause with an explicit Subject, as in Up you get! … .

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