Thematic Progression Theory and Discourse Translation: A Case Study of The Gift of the Magi

Lijun LI, Yi CHEN


In recent years, the Systemic Functional Grammar has long been viewed as providing a powerful framework for discourse analysis, in which thematic structure, information structure and cohesion are three key tools to realize the textual meta-function. Meanwhile, the emergence of thematic theory and thematic progression theory (TP theory) has attracted great attention in linguistics. TP theory has been thought of as a potentially analytic mean for decomposing discourses in translation. This paper spares no efforts to present the practical values of thematic progression in discourse translation by analyzing a short story, The Gift of the Magi, by O·Henry and its Chinese version translated by Wang Yongnian, a famous and prestigious translator, based on the thematic theory and TP theory respectively proposed by Halliday and Danes, and thus giving some hints to E-C short stories’ translation.



Thematic theory; Thematic progression; Discourse translation

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