ERIC Number: ED197354
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Functional Sentence Perspective and Composition.
Vande Kopple, William J.
Functional Sentence Perspective (FSP) is a theory that predicts how units of information should be distributed in a sentence and how sentences should be related in a discourse. A binary topic-comment structure is assigned to each FSP sentence. For most English sentences, the topic is associated with the subject or the left-most noun phrase, and the comment is associated with the predicate phrase or carries particular stress. Eight experiments were conducted to determine whether an English discourse that is consistent with FSP has cognitive advantages over one with the same content but contradictory to FSP. The results indicated that subjects added new information to an anchor of old information in memory. If composition teachers taught both the principles of FSP and the ways in which their students could reconcile these principles with English syntax, it would enable the teacher to discuss cohesion of paragraphs and larger stretches of discourse with terms that are much more explicit than many of those used now and also improve upon the students' writing. Preliminary studies also indicate that FSP may increase enable the reading comprehension. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (70th, Cincinnati, OH, November 21-26, 1980).