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Title: A study of thematisation choices in four academic history journal articles
Author: Gollin, Jacqueline
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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In recent years there has been considerable interest in the way micro-level lexicogrammatical choices realise discourse goals at various levels of written text. Much of this work has focused on how writers start their sentences and made use of the theme-rheme perspective on clause and sentence structure associated with a Hallidayan approach to text analysis. At the same time, there has been increasing awareness of the influence of generic context on language use and several studies have sought, in particular, to relate choices of linguistic form to the methodological practices of particular academic disciplines. This study also makes use of a theme-rheme analysis of sentences, along with other perspectives on the organisation of information in written text, in order to examine the discourse goals served by choices as regards placement of various types of lexicogrammatical items in academic writing. The specific context chosen for the investigation is the academic journal article in the field of history, a type of discourse which has been under-researched so far. Four history journal articles were selected for analysis, two from the sub-discipline of modern history and two by medieval historians. All the sentence themes in these articles were classified as either marked, unmarked or non-prototypical themes. They were then categorised according to semantic function and further subdivided according to grammatical form. The investigation then focused on the discourse goals achieved by particular theme choices, especially with regard to the organisation of the content of the text. In the case of adverbial clauses, initial placement was compared with final placement to see whether there was any difference in pragmatic function. Initial versus final placement of sentences in paragraphs was also investigated to see how choices as this level contributed to discourse goals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available