Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz

2 M. A., TEFL Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz


This study was set to reveal how second language learners use rhetorical relations in their written narratives in terms of Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) primarily proposed by Mann & Thompson (1987) and developed by Mann, Matthiessen & Thompson (1992). To this end, sixty written narratives based on the picture story book ‘Frog, where are you?’ were collected from EFL learners and were put to the RST for analysis. The results overall indicate that among the 25 rhetorical relations under investigation, sequence, cause cluster, elaboration, circumstance, and concession were the most common relations in the texts. Close scrutiny of the sample RST trees manifests remarkable resemblances at the two upper levels of hierarchical structure and considerable difference at the lower ones. This confirms the crucial importance of temporality, among other things, in sequential events of narrative. Sparse distribution of ‘orientation’ at certain points and their displacement are other interesting cases which could be attributed to the L1 effect.