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Theme Identification in English Clauses Essay

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Tikrit University Journal for Humanities
September (2011)

Vol. (18) No. (7)

Theme Identification in English Clauses
Dr. Nawwaf Mohammed Abdulla Al-Mahjoob University of Tikrit - College of Arts - Department of Translation

Abstract
This paper is centred on the notions of theme and rheme as a source for the organization of the clause as a massage. It builds on Halliday (1994) who conceives theme as a clause initial element. The paper is an attempt to show how the theme is identified in the English clause. English speakers and writers use the first position in the clause to convey information to the listener showing what the message is about. In English, the first position in the clause is occupied by a textual meaning because it shows the development of the message. The importance of the notion of theme stems from the fact that the flow of information in a sentence from theme to rheme is important to convey the message effectively. Themes, as will be clarified, fall into three types: the textual theme , the interpersonal theme , and the ideational theme. 1. Introduction The theme-rheme studies date back to 1844 when Henri Weil made the following observation : ''There is then a point of departure, an initial notion which is equally present to him who speaks and to him who hears, which forms, as it were, the ground upon which the two intelligences meet; and another part of discourse which forms

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Theme Identification in English Clauses Dr. Nawwaf Mohammed Abdulla Al-Mahjoob the statement (l'enonciation), properly so called. This division is found in almost all what we say'' (Weil, 1944:29). Since then, many linguists have started to investigate the message structure of the clause. Mathesius (1939) is the first who put forward the concepts of theme and rheme. According to him, theme is the part that comes first in a sentence and rheme remains the following part. In general, theme carries the old information while the rheme the new. Danes (1964: 225)...

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