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Another temporal variety is given by the creation of neologisms.

When we have to translate a text which is written in a different temporal varieties, we will translate it according

to our purpose: for example Eduardo de Filippo translated “The Tempest” by Shakespeare and he used a

different geographical dialect rather than a temporal dialect: he chose to translate the play into his Neapolitan


4. Idiolect

Idiolect is the most individual of user­related varieties of language and is an unconscious expression of an

individual’s personality.

It refers to a person’s idiosyncratic speech habits at a particular time in life: favourite grammatical structures,

pronunciations, pitch and stress patterns, and vocabulary items.


A single sentence of a text is almost always a complete grammatical unit, but it is seldom semantically

complete. In fact, the sense of completeness goes beyond a sentence and it is generally a sequence of

sentences which make up a complete unit or a text.

A single sentence of a text gets its meaning from the situation in which it is set (context of situation /

extralinguistic context) or from the other linguistic elements surrounding it (co­ text / linguistic context).


We can introduce the concept of texture: is what distinguishes a text from a non­text and what holds

the clauses of a text together coherently and cohesively. In order to be a real text, a text needs to be:

which means that the text must have continuity of sense;


­ which means that the sentences that make up the text must be linked to each other to


­ make up a unified whole; the different sentences have to be interrelated grammatically and lexically.

Together coherence and cohesion contribute to create textualiy, the property which distinguishes a text from a

random sequence of sentences.


Coherence refers to the organisation of meanings in relation to one another . The elements of a text correspond

to the natural, real­world order of events or sequences: for this reason there must be a logical transition from

one sentence to another in order to have a coherent text.

They can be (in the beginning, suddenly, next, at the same time, when,…), or

time ordered sequences

they can be (consequently, as a result,…), or

ordered according to a cause­effect sequence

(however, nevertheless, unless,…).

according to argumentative discussion


Cohesion refers to the way in which meaning is related across sentences.

It is created through a range of linguistic signals and strategies which enable language users to know that

sentences belong together and in a particular sequence.

Cohesive relations are expressed party through grammar (grammatical and partly through


vocabulary (lexical cohesion).

Grammatical cohesion:

this reference can be obtained by using personal pronouns, the definite article,


­ deictics (this, that, here, there, now, then,…), implied (same, different, other, else, such,…).

Reference can be of two types:

exophoric : when the reference is made to the context outside the context;

• endophoric : when the reference is made within the text; it can be either anaphoric (if it refers

• to something which has been said before) or cataphoric (if it refers to something which is

going to be said later);

it refers to some forms, such as one, ones, do, not and so, which substitute other


­ linguistic expressions;

it is another facet of substitution and refers to the omission or deletion of elements


­ whose meaning is “understood” because it is recoverable from the context;

a relationship is set up between two clauses by explicit linking devices as


­ consequently, or rather, for instance, in short, in fact, however, moreover, then, next,… Conjunctive

relations can also be implicit and it can be inferred in the interpretation of a text.

The stylistic value of conjunction is to create a logically articulated discourse. If explicit linking devices

are used, little is left to the reader’s imagination.

The most cohesive conjunctions are those which signal cause and effect, like therefore, while the least

cohesive is and, because it only indicates that the two ideas are linked but leaves the reader to infer

how. this cohesion is given by the selection of vocabulary or “content words”. These are

Lexical cohesion:

semantic relations which characterised the way in which words are organised in language.

The two types of relationship are:

reiteration includes:


­ English is particular rich in synonyms since it contains not only “native” words


• of Germanic origin, but also loan­words from Latin, French, Greek and a number of other

languages. Words that come from old English are associated with more informal contexts,

while those of Romance origin tend to be more formal (e.g. begin – commence; book –

volume; cheap – inexpensive).

It’s more correct to speak of “near­synonyms” because total overlap in meaning in all contexts

doesn’t exist. The use of one synonym as opposed to another will be determined by the

favourable, unfavourable or neutral value judgment the author wishes to express;

it denotes oppositeness of meaning, which depends on context (e.g. old/new –


• old/young; hot/cold or hot/mild; sweet/savoury or sweet/bitter or sweet/sour);

it refers to the classification of experience in successive orders of increasingly


• more generic terms. The general (inclusive) term is called the superordinate or hyperonym,

while the more specific (included) terms are known as hyponyms (e.g. flowers is the

hyperonym of tulip, rose and daffodils, which are related to one another as cohyponyms);

it refers to a part­whole relation (e.g. tree (superordinate) and branch and root


• (co­meronyms);

it refers not only to the repeating of the same lexical unit, but also of


• morphologically distinct forms of the same words, such as explore and exploration.

refers to lexical items that have a strong tendency to co­occur in language and


­ that are related associatively in the lexical system.

Grammatical and lexical cohesion together give texture to a text.

Each component that is a device of grammatical or lexical cohesion contributes to creating a cohesive chain:

the number of chains in a text, their complexity and extent of overlapping contribute to its unity.

Translator need to be sensitive to the web of lexical and grammatical semantic relations in the source text and

to the way they contribute to the overall message of the text. In fact, failure to recreate grammatical and lexical

cohesive patterns in the target text could lead to misunderstanding and might well prejudice the pragmatic



1. Thematisation

A text is arranged in a such way in order to focus reader’s attention on those part of its content which are

considered to be most important: this tendency of drawing the reader’s attention on what is communicatively


more important is called new information to the information that is already known or shared by

This process involves associating

the reader. Each sentence can be divided into two parts:

Theme: context­dependent

it contains the information that is already known to the readers. It is in

- that the reader already has access to the information offered in it. The theme is also the starting point

of the message, what the clause is about, and it occurs in the initial part of the clause;

Rheme: context­independent

it contains instead the new information. It is the new element.


The choice of what information to put where depends on writer’s hypothesis about what the reader knows and

on the way the writer wishes to organise his text.


The theme/rheme distinction is (it doesn’t deal with grammatical rules, but with logic), but in English

it coincides with the ordering of subject and predicate: the theme is the first part of the clause and has the

function of “announcing” the starting point of the message. When they occur in this sequence, the theme is

considered unmarked, because it is considered the typical structure.

2. Thematic progression

The theme/rheme division of a clause contributes to the development of communication because it serves to

communicative dynamism

move the discourse forward. In fact together theme and rheme constitute the of

successive sentences in a text. This organisation of the clause in terms of theme and rheme is called FSP

approach (functional sentence perspective).

The choice and ordering of the theme and rheme in relation to superior text units (paragraphs, chapters) and

thematic progression.

the whole text is referred to as

For example when we translate, we have to interpret the thematic\progression of the ST (source text – the

language we start from) and then to reproduce it according to TL (target language – the language in which the

text must be translated) conventions in the TT (target text)

The most common patterns of thematic progression are:

Linear thematisation of rhemes: it is the most basic and straightforward form of thematic

1) progression; in this kind of thematisation, every sentence takes the rheme of the previous sentence

and makes it its theme:

theme 1­­­­­ rheme 1


theme 2 ­­­­­ rheme 2


Theme 3, etc.

Thematic progression with a constant theme: the different sentences have the same theme and so

2) they deal with the same topic:

theme 1 ­­­­­­­­rheme 1


theme 1 ­­­­­­­­rheme 2


theme 1 ­­­­­­­­rheme 3 etc.

Thematic progression by means of a split rheme: in this case the first sentence contains a theme

3) and a rheme and then this rheme contains different other themes and their related rhemes:

Theme 1 ­­­­­­­­ rheme 1

theme 2 theme 3

rheme 2 rheme 3

Thematic progression with subsequent themes derived form a hypertheme or metatheme: there

4) is in fact the so­called “hypertheme” which includes all other themes with their related rhemes:


theme 1 theme 2 theme 3

rheme 1 rheme 2 rheme 3

Thematic progression with subsequent constant themes related to the first rheme:

5) theme 1 ­­­­­­­­­­­­ rheme 1


theme 2 ­­­­­ rheme 2


theme 2 ­­­­­ rheme 3


theme 2 ­­­­­ rheme 4 etc.

Thematic progression with subsequent new themes related to a constant rheme:

6) Theme 1 ­­­­­ rheme 1

Theme 2 ­­­­­ rheme 1

Theme 3 ­­­­­ rheme 1

Thematic sequencing is not a random occurrence: it depends very much on discourse genre and rhetorical

purpose and it plays a fundamental role in text construction.

For example in advertisements there is a tendency to return to the same theme in successive clauses, usually

the brand name.


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Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea in scienze linguistiche (BRESCIA - MILANO)

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher glibertino di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Linguistica inglese e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore - Milano Unicatt o del prof Camaiora Luisa.

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