Thematic Analysis on VOA News


校园英语·中旬 2017年1期


【Abstract】This paper tries to analyze how VOA news transport information to the receptionists efficiently with using concepts like Theme, Rheme, and Multiple Theme. News always convey certain information to the receptionists so as to achieve certain goals. The research finds that news reports are mainly about the happenings of events or peoples behaviors,so that event itself or the person himself/herself is needed to be the Theme.

【Key words】VOA News; Theme; Rheme


In linguistic terms, Functional Grammar which is based on communication and meanings presents three types of meaning including ideational metafunction, interpersonal metafunction and textual metafunction. This paper focuses on the Thematic analysis of news reports could lead people to understand these news effectively.

Chapter 1 Identifying Theme in News Report

Theme is the first constituent of the clause, all the rest of the clause is simply labelled the Rheme. In other words, Theme can also be explained as the starting point in certain contexts, here are some Themes are Subject. In other cases, it is the whole nominal group that is Theme, the Subject may also be a nominal group complex.

The president

Lawmakers in the United States is vice president for Strategy at Cynergy Systems in Washington.

have expanded an investigation into the use of location-tracking systems on mobile devices.

Theme Rheme

Other kind of constituent in declarative clauses is an Adjunct. There is a uncommon example that the constituent in Theme position is being contrasted with something else in the context is called complement.

Last week,

The American space agency Congress discussed the issue of mobile privacy.

NASA is now building the largest space telescope ever.

Theme Rheme

Finally, here still have a long way to go to analyze news report.

Chapter 2 Thematic analysis of news reports

We should continue our work to multiple Themes and search deeply to find out the features of VOA news report. Indeed, VOA news surly has some different key points to attract peoples eyes. Now we begin by examining ways in which the speaker can manipulate the structure of his message in order to establish specific kind of starting points.

Theme must always include a constituent that plays a role in transitivity: a participant, process or circumstances.Someone would love to say thematic experiential constituent the experiential Theme. If anything precedes the experiential elements in Theme- textual or interpersonal elements-it is also part of Theme.This is called multiple Theme.

As textual elements, we have already mentioned conjunctions and conjunctive Adjuncts, and to these we can add continuatives(yes, no, well, oh, now, etc.) which signal the beginning of the new move in the exchange.If more than one textual element is present, they normally occur in the order: continuative, conjunction and conjunctive. As interpersonal elements we have mentioned modal Adjuncts, we can add Vocatives(eg. names or other forms of direct address such as darling)As figure suggests, the typical ordering of elements in multiple Themes is textual + interpersonal + experiential.

But actually Californias problems include crowded highways and aging rail lines, air and port facilities.

textual interpersonal experiential Rheme


But when a conjunctive and modal Adjuncts appear together in Theme, the modal Adjunct normally precedes the conjunctive one, and the order is interpersonal + textual + experiential.

Of course that moment, should be counted.

interpersonal textual experiential



It is very obvious for us to see that the Pp structure is very common in marked Theme, but the number of Np structure is so small to let it down.

Chapter3 Conclusion

Generally, it is possible to identify functions: to signal what the text is about at that point. To specify the framework of the following clause. To signal the boundaries of sections in the text. To signal what speaker thinks is an important starting point. Turning to the function of the Rheme, on the other side, it provides the content, the main information that the writer wants the addressee to know. Theme illustrates more concrete information in action. VOA English is so simple that in many cases it has more simpler Theme to start the key point to tell people about the event. If the speaker choose to other different standing point, they would choose different Theme to significant the main idea. Many VOA news report has few multiple Theme, thats mean that we just pay more attention to the subject, noun groups and adv Adjuncts. Finally, we can make out the trends of the news text. Then we can easily analyze the right key point to understand the speakers meaning and intentions.


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