The Status of Theme in Political Interviews: A Case of Native and Nonnative Speakers

Ahmad Amin Rashidifar, Seyed Foad Ebrahimi


Theme plays crucial roles in the message function of language. An important question is how speakers deal with thematic choices as textual devices. Few studies have brought their significance into focus. The present study, therefore, investigates Theme development and progression in English media discourse providing meticulous concentration to the political interview as a communicative genre. The corpus comprises 30 video-taped political interviews, a combination of short and long ones (5 Minutes to 1 Hour) about Iran’s nuclear program, Iran’s latest events regarding the presidential election, events following the presidential election and major controversial issues in the Middle East region. The corpus was analyzed using Halliday’s (1994) thematic organization and McCabe’s (1999) thematic progression models. The gained results revealed significant differences between the English native interviews and Iranian EFL interviews regarding thematic schemes. The study concludes that speakers must be aware of these tools to employ them efficiently to create more cohesive speeches.


theme, rheme, thematic organization, thematic progression, political interview

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