Wednesday, 25 June 2014

David Rose On Theme

David Rose wrote to the Sysfling list on 24 June 2014 at 21:07:
If theme is a clause rank system, whose textual function is point of departure for a message, and a message is realised by a finite ranking clause +/- dependent clauses, and an unmarked Theme is realised (in English) by the Subject of a clause, then a prepositional phrase or dependent clause preceding the Subject of the primary clause functions textually as a marked Theme of the message (if the duke gives anything to my aunt, it'll be that teapot; from the duke, my aunt received a teapot). An embedded (downranked) clause may function as Subject (what the duke gave my aunt was that teapot). (IFG editions notwithstanding:)

Blogger Comment:

Themes may be unmarked or marked, but not both; i.e. marked^unmarked is not a structural configuration of (topical) Theme.  When a marked Theme — Adjunct or Complement — is chosen in a declarative clause, the Subject does not function as (unmarked) Theme.  For example:

from the duke
my aunt
a teapot