A Functional Characterology of the English Transitional Pr-Verbs: Presentation or Appearance on the Scene Revisited


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In the framework of the theory of functional sentence perspective (FSP), aptly elaborated by Jan Firbas (summarised in Firbas 1992), the English verb tends to be the mediator (i.e. transition) between the theme and the rheme. Every sentence implements one of the dynamic semantic scales, which functionally reflect the distribution of communicative dynamism and operate irrespective of word order. In principle, Firbas distinguishes two types of the dynamic semantic scales: the Presentation Scale and the Quality Scale. The present paper discusses the dynamic as well as static semantic characteristics of the English verb operating in the transitional sphere of the clause, with special regard to its Presentation Scale occurrence. Especially the Firbasian phenomenon of presentation or appearance on the scene is examined and exemplified by means of statistical and FSP analysis of a sample corpus based on religious discourse.


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