Thematic Development in English and Translated Academic Texts

Alireza Jalilifar 1
Author Information & Copyright
1Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


Thematic organization and thematic progression play crucial roles in the message function of language. An important question is how translators deal with these thematic choices as textual devices when a text is translated into another language. Few studies have unfortunately brought their significance into focus. The present study, therefore, investigates thematic development and progression in English academic texts and their translations in Persian. The corpus is selected from the first three pages of the first chapters of nine English applied linguistics books and their translation versions. These books are currently taught in the Iranian universities at undergraduate and graduate levels. Applying Halliday’s (1994) thematic organization and McCabe’s (1999) thematic progression, the study reveals significant differences in the original texts and their translations regarding thematic schemes. The study concludes that both authors and translators must be conscious of these tools in order to use them effectively and create more cohesive texts.

Keywords: theme; rheme; thematic organization; thematic progression; translation



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