The functional/cognitive principle of information structure in texts: discourse pressures and syntactic devices for English as L2 learners

Adriana Maria Tenuta, Ana Larissa Adorno Marciotto Oliveira


This paper presents the results of a study carried out to investigate the degree of perception of the thematic structure of the clause (theme and rheme) and the informational structure of a text (given and new elements) by Brazilian learners of English, undergraduate students from a Federal University in Brazil. The theoretical background relies on the principles of functional-cognitive linguistics, relative to how discourse impacts linguistic choices (HALLIDAY 1985; CHAFE 1995). The corpus of this research consisted of a series of exercises that were administered to undergraduate students, English majors. The findings shed light to the fact that learners are still unaware of most processes involving grammar arrangements and the discourse flow, as they are not also very conscious of how grammar can impact the communicative intent of a written text.


Theme and rheme; Given and new; Discourse

Texto completo:


Ling. disc. Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina, ISSN 1982-4017

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