The Thought Occurs

The Thought Occurs

Monday, 17 October 2011

Sample Theme Analysis

Clause:

One year [[after they got married]] they found his socks and car keys.

Analysis:

Marked Theme: circumstance of temporal Location realised by a nominal group with an embedded clause as Qualifier.

Note: The reason one year after is not a conjunction group, with one year as a Premodifier of after is as follows:
(1) conjunctions form a word class within the primary word class of adverbials [Halliday & Matthiessen 2004: 358];

(2) Premodifiers in adverbial groups are grammatical items — there is no lexical premodification in the adverbial group [op cit: 356];

(3) items serving as Premodifiers in adverbial groups are adverbs of polarity, comparison or intensification [ibid];

(4) all the examples given of Premodifiers in conjunction groups are grammatical items (even, just, not, only), not lexical items [op cit: 358].

Consider, for example, the inutility of analysing the following as a conjunction group:

Thirteen excruciating mind-numbing minutes after (he began speaking) …

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