Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Discourse strategies for global topic construction in complex written texts: evidence from comment articles

Pilar Alonso Rodríguez

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2006.19.02

Abstract

Based on research done on a small corpus of comment articles, this paper reconsiders the relation between topic entity, subject function and given status and explores their role in the construction and maintenance of the global discourse topic. It claims that even though it is pertinent to say that at sentence level much of the topical information is non-subject and/or frequently post-verbal with new informational status, at discourse level the progression established between non-subjects and subject elements ends up converting topical non-subjects into subjects. In the long term, this means that using subject position frequency as a primary variable in determining possible candidates to global discourse topic is significant and relevant. The article shows that the conversion of topical non-subjects into subjects is done not only by means of lexical recurrence and reference, as Givón (1990) claims; but also by other means such as extended reference, anticipatory it, general nouns or superordinates and complex clausal structures. This is illustrated with evidence from a selection of comment articles from The Observer, The Times and The Guardian.

Keywords

Tópico textual; Función sintáctica; Estrategias discursivas; Estructura del discurso; Análisis del discurso; Artículos de opinión

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2006.19.02

Copyright (c) 2006 Pilar Alonso Rodríguez

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