Background on Text No. 4

Message in Text, Part 4

Now you are ready to view and comprehend my parses of Message in published papers.

To begin, I am going to parse the Message in two sections of Carlini and Wagner's Towards Evaluating the Robustness of Neural Networks (2017 S&P). I'll divide my parse into five parts, so that means, this post and the next four will be about the Message in Towards the Robustness of Neural Networks. The content of the paper has not been changed, only enhanced in order to demonstrate just how that content is communicated.

Before beginning, though, here is a quick review of what you've learned so far about Message:

(1) A clause is the structure created by each next verb.

(2) The functions in the clause are the Process, the Participant, and the Circumstance.

(3) The topic of a clause is positioned up front, and so by implication, the information given about the topic or the comment made on the topic is positioned in the middle and back of the clause. The technical name for the front position in the clause is the Theme, and the technical name for all the rest of the clause is the Rheme.

Alright, that brings you up to speed. Now it's time you saw some Message in a real paper.

Download Towards the Robustness of Neural Networks here. Sections III and VII have been parsed according to this highlighting scheme:

blue high-level Theme
yellow low-level Theme
red multimodal Theme

All the text in blue functions like road signs, indicating the general direction of travel through the discourse. In the yellow highlighting, however, you can follow the progression of the topic, step for step. Finally, in the uncolored text you see the Rheme. It is there that you read about the topic; or to put that another way, the Rheme lays new roadbed for the Themes in blue and yellow to progress over. So, all in all, the development of a topic occurs in the grammatical distribution of information between Theme and Rheme, and it is that interrelation of Theme to Rheme and Rheme to Theme which gets the Message across.

As to the red highlighting (present only in Section VII), that is my attempt to demonstrate yet another level to the Message, namely, the level of Figures and Tables. This multimodal strand in the discourse redirects the flow of topics again; therefore, I have marked in red those portions of the running text which propel the reader's attention up and out of the clauses and to the places where he or she can view the numbers or graphs or images. Interestingly, once there and using the visual modality, the reader is again dug in reading text in the form of the heading and caption. So, once again the Themes and Rhemes of the clause appear in order to guide the reader's attention in (literally) this new place in the discourse.

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