Analyzing Thematic Structures in Queen Elizabeth II’s Christmas Speeches

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Asma Sari
Hesham Suleiman Alyousef


Introduction: Political speech plays an important role in connecting various segments of society and fostering a sense of unity.  This study aimed to investigate theme structure and thematic progression patterns in a collection of twenty Christmas speeches delivered by Queen Elizabeth II.

Methodology: A corpus of 711 T-units was analyzed using a mixed-methods research design. Halliday’s (2014) thematic structure approach and Daneš’ (1974) thematic progression model were employed as frameworks for this study.

Results: The research findings indicated that the topical theme was the most frequently utilized type, followed by a moderate usage of textual theme, while interpersonal theme was the least applied. Moreover, a predilection was shown towards unmarked themes over marked ones to enhance simplicity. The findings revealed that the predominant employed thematic pattern was the constant pattern, followed by the linear pattern to a slightly lesser degree, whereas the split pattern was scarcely utilized. The integration of these patterns yielded a harmonious flow of information and a cohesive arrangement for the textual composition.

Conclusion: The analysis of theme structure and thematic progression patterns from 2001 to 2021 revealed that the Queen exhibited a consistent pattern of theme structure usage, while the usage of thematic progression varied depending on the topics addressed in each speech. These results along with other further investigations may be beneficial in training political sciences students, future politicians and public speakers.

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How to Cite
Sari, A., & Alyousef, H. S. (2024). Analyzing Thematic Structures in Queen Elizabeth II’s Christmas Speeches . Journal of Contemporary Language Research, 3(2), 53–63.
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