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Book: Information Structure in Spoken English

Chapter: Introduction

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43958


In this chapter I will sketch work on information structure pre Halliday. This work will include mention of Aristotle, Weil and Prague School work e.g. Mathesius and explain his three part definition of theme. I will also briefly mention the work of Firbas and Daneš (discussed in detail in chapter 3) in order to contextualise what Davidse calls Halliday’s separating theme. The separation of the theme and information systems is a distinguishing feature of SFL and the chapter will describe how the systems fit into the textual metafunction and into the wider SFL architecture.

Chapter Contributors

  • Gerard O'Grady ( - gogrady) 'Cardiff University'