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Article: The incidence and effects on coherence of marked themes in interlanguage texts: A corpus-based enquiry

TitleThe incidence and effects on coherence of marked themes in interlanguage texts: A corpus-based enquiry
Authors
Issue Date2000
PublisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/esp
Citation
English For Specific Purposes, 2000, v. 19 n. 2, p. 99-113 How to Cite?
AbstractChinese writers of academic texts in English demonstrate a clear tendency to place in sentence-initial position certain topic-fronting devices (beginning For and Concerning), and logical connectors (Besides, Furthermore and Moreover) to introduce new information. When fronted in this way, these items usurp the position of the information structure element referred to in systemic-functional linguistics as theme. Theme functions in discourse to convey given or known information, but when theme position is occupied by new information, that information may constitute a marked theme. To establish empirically that Chinese subjects utilise theme position in the way described, a non-native speaker (NNS) corpus of academic writing produced by Chinese subjects was tagged to detect occurrences of the two topic-fronting devices and the three thematised connectors. The same phenomena were similarly investigated in three native-speaker (NS) corpora. The findings demonstrate that Chinese subjects do have a greater tendency than native speakers to place the connectors under consideration in theme position, but the findings are less clear for the topic-fronting devices. This empirical study was followed by an exercise in which texts containing marked themes were analysed to determine the effects of the markedness on information structure. It was found that inappropriate occupation of theme position by the items under consideration here has a deleterious effect on information structure and that this, in turn, has negative effects on both local and global text coherence. © 2000 The American University. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/148722
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 1.143
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.659
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorGreen, CFen_HK
dc.contributor.authorChristopher, ERen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLam, Jen_HK
dc.contributor.authorMei, Ken_HK
dc.date.accessioned2012-05-29T06:18:44Z-
dc.date.available2012-05-29T06:18:44Z-
dc.date.issued2000en_HK
dc.identifier.citationEnglish For Specific Purposes, 2000, v. 19 n. 2, p. 99-113en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0889-4906en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/148722-
dc.description.abstractChinese writers of academic texts in English demonstrate a clear tendency to place in sentence-initial position certain topic-fronting devices (beginning For and Concerning), and logical connectors (Besides, Furthermore and Moreover) to introduce new information. When fronted in this way, these items usurp the position of the information structure element referred to in systemic-functional linguistics as theme. Theme functions in discourse to convey given or known information, but when theme position is occupied by new information, that information may constitute a marked theme. To establish empirically that Chinese subjects utilise theme position in the way described, a non-native speaker (NNS) corpus of academic writing produced by Chinese subjects was tagged to detect occurrences of the two topic-fronting devices and the three thematised connectors. The same phenomena were similarly investigated in three native-speaker (NS) corpora. The findings demonstrate that Chinese subjects do have a greater tendency than native speakers to place the connectors under consideration in theme position, but the findings are less clear for the topic-fronting devices. This empirical study was followed by an exercise in which texts containing marked themes were analysed to determine the effects of the markedness on information structure. It was found that inappropriate occupation of theme position by the items under consideration here has a deleterious effect on information structure and that this, in turn, has negative effects on both local and global text coherence. © 2000 The American University. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/espen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofEnglish for Specific Purposesen_HK
dc.titleThe incidence and effects on coherence of marked themes in interlanguage texts: A corpus-based enquiryen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailChristopher, ER: fbelsie@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityChristopher, ER=rp01058en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0141625815en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-0141625815&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume19en_HK
dc.identifier.issue2en_HK
dc.identifier.spage99en_HK
dc.identifier.epage113en_HK
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridGreen, CF=7402358170en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChristopher, ER=7003651602en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLam, J=7201973391en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridMei, K=7005780309en_HK

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