Rheme


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Rheme

 

in the theory of the actual division of a sentence, one of the two basic components of an utterance, contrasted to the theme. The rheme, or nucleus, contains the new information of the sentence and represents one of the sentence’s centers of meaning. In the sentence Zhenu on sebe vybral/khoroshuiu (“The wife he chose for himself was a good one”), the rheme is khoroshuiu (“a good one”). The rheme is distinguished by word order and intonation in Slavic and Germanic languages. In many languages there are either morphological means of distinguishing the rheme or special syntactic constructions, such as the French c’est.. qui/que construction. In Russian, the rheme is usually found at the end of a phrase. When word order is changed, the stress of the phrase shifts and falls on the rheme in an intensified form, as when Muzei/zakryt becomes Zakryt muzei (“The museum is closed”).

REFERENCES

Grammatika sovremennogo russkogo lit. iazyka. Moscow, 1970. (Section on word order.)
Raspopov, I. P. Aktual’noe chlenenie predlozheniia. Ufa, 1961.
Adamec, P. Poriadok slov v sovremennom russkom iazyke. Prague, 1966.
Prazhskii lingvisticheskii kruzhok. Moscow, 1967.

T. M. NIKOLAEVA

References in periodicals archive ?
This is the sentence to identify theme of the sentence the theme and rheme. which may be a noun phrase or a prepositional phrase.
These are all questions that emerge from Ana's text that could have been answered in the rheme part of her clauses but are left unanswered.
In this context, the sentence consists of two parts: a theme and a rheme, the theme usually precedes the rheme.
Firbas (1982: 98-99) explains it as follows: theme and rheme are tied to the communicative dynamism (which is "the relative extent to which such an element contributes towards the further development of communication"): theme lowest, rheme highest.
Usually the part of the message that the writer considers interesting or important comes in the Rheme. Readers need to be reassured that they are following the development of the text; therefore, the position of Theme and Rheme and the repetition of meanings is crucial in subsequent clauses.
There is in addition a special thematic resource whereby two or more separate elements are grouped together so that they form a single constituent of the Theme + Rheme structure.
The theme (starting point of the message) and rheme (what is said about the starting point) are also termed subject and predicate (Berry 1977).
The thematic system as proposed by Halliday (1985 and 1994) depends on the clause being divided into two main constituents: a theme and a rheme. Since it is possible for a number of clause elements to occupy the first position in a clause, we can identify different types of themes.
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the transition from Theme to Rheme. The English structure (20a) has a dummy-it Subject that allows the longer constituent that ...