Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.534502
Title: The discourse structure of English and Arabic, with particular reference to the syntactic, thematic and grounding structures of newspaper editorials
Author: Alharthi, Nasser Raddad
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2010
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Abstract:
This study aims to investigate aspects of the discourse structure of English and Arabic in general and political editorial argumentative texts in particular. Three major notions are examined and compared: subordination and coordination, thematic structure, and grounding (foreground and background). Arabic nominal and verbal sentences and clauses are also examined and compared. In this study, the data, which represent twenty four newspaper editorials taken from two English and Arabic newspapers (twelve editorials from each language), are qualitatively and quantitatively analysed. At the syntactic level, the analysis shows that English editorials use relatively simple and short sentence structures. Arabic editorials, by contrast, employ complex structures. Subordinate clauses are less common in English than in Arabic. Arabic uses coordinate clauses more than English does. The analysis also shows that Arabic editorials use more nominal sentences (SVO sentences) than verbal ones (VSO sentences). These two sentence types also differ in their employment of adjunct and disjunct clauses and phrases. At the thematic level, Arabic displays more complex thematic structures than English. The analysis also shows that there are specific markers in the Arabic data which signal rhematic elements. At the grounding level, it is found that clauses and phrases which meet the grounding expectation (that main clauses are foregrounded and subordinate clauses/phrases are backgrounded) are more frequent in English than in Arabic. It is also found that clauses and phrases which do not fulfill the grounding expectation are more frequent in English editorials than their Arabic counterparts. Another major difference between the two languages at this level is that most frequent clauses and phrases which do not meet the grounding expectation are final rhemes. In some cases, however, these clauses and phrases occur initially as themes, particularly in Arabic.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.534502  DOI: Not available
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