The Concept of the Dynamic Semantic Scales in the Theory of FSP Revisited

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The theory of functional sentence perspective (FSP) and its research methods have been considered one of the prominent tools of research into information processing. It is widely known that, combining the approaches adopted both by formalists and functionalists, the theory of FSP draws on the findings presented by the scholars of the Prague School, particularly by Vilém Mathesius. Mathesius observed the language universal of every utterance having a theme and a rheme, and formulated the basic principles of what was to be labelled FSP only later. In the framework of FSP every sentence implements one of the so-called dynamic semantic scales (FIRBAS, 1992), which functionally reflect the distribution of communicative dynamism and operate irrespective of word order. Principally, Firbas distinguishes two types of the dynamic semantic scales: the Presentation Scale, in which a context-independent subject is presented on the scene, and the Quality Scale, where a specifying quality is ascribed to the subject. The present paper sets out to discuss the concept of the dynamic semantic scales from a diachronic point of view.


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