February 12th — Nadia Elias: Marked Theme Role in Achieving Topical Coherence in Discourse in English

Marked Theme Role in Achieving Topical Coherence in Discourse in English

The present study is interested in the negotiation of “topical coherence” (Geluykkens, 1999) as interlocutors negotiate to complete a Map task. The study is interested in investigating the interaction of ‘Thematic Structure’: Theme and Rheme and ‘Information Structure’: Given and New, alongside cohesive devices (Halliday, 2004; Firbas, 1992; Halliday and Hasan, 1976; Halliday, 1967a, b) such as (reference, ellipsis, substitution, conjunction and lexical cohesion) in achieving coherence. I use the map task to stimulate informal English discourse.
In this presentation, the talk will focus on showing how Marked Theme functions to create coherence; this through its function of signaling that the clause is beginning from an unusual angle such as place, time, etc…The presentation will focus also on the role of intonation in achieving coherence in the interaction; this is through interpreting the information encoded by intonation by drawing insight from Relevance Theory (Sperber& Wilson, 1995).