On Narrow and Broad P-theme Paragraphs

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This paper follows in principle the paragraph typology pioneered by Mathesius (1942/1982) and Danes (1995). In this study the original paragraph types are established on a wider range of tentative criteria which include at least the relationship between the Paragraph Theme and the (FSP) themes, (i.e., the degree of in/stability of choices from the Thematic area, affecting the range of the thematic Discourse Subjects and their variability across the paragraph); the types, arrangement and hierarchy of thematic progressions; the type of thematic paradigm (the cohesive ties and means involved in thematic units); the role assigned to thematic progressions and cohesive links (their incidence); and the placement and characteristics of the Paragraph Theme exponents.
Furthermore, the paper posits a decisive opposition between the two paragraph supra- types - viz. narrow and broad Paragraph Theme ones. These two major types of paragraphs represent two opposite ends of a relatively continuous cline and epitomize two radically different configurations of features following from the above criteria. The choice between the two constructional patterns, however, is determined primarily by the author's intent, including the manner of his/her presentation of the particular content. What is more, given the recursive tendencies in the build-up of texts, the concepts of narrow vs. broad Theme may be extended to apply virtually to any level of macrotextual build-up.


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