Re: discourse boundary markers in Luke

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Sun Feb 28 1999 - 15:50:22 EST

> Having detected a number of Luke's techniques for marking transitions I
> am now wondering if there is possibly a class of discourse boundary
> marker which transcends lexical and syntactic data. I am beginning to
> see a pattern in Luke which I will call for lack of a better term a
> semantic discourse boundary marker. Let me illustrate.

Here is another illustration. In Luke 5 we see several constructions
used to introduce a new scene:

1) Luke 5:1 EGENETO DE

2) Luke 5:12 KAI EGENETO

3) Luke 5:17 KAI EGENETO

4) Luke 5:27 KAI META TAUTA


Just looking at these five examples we can form some groups with similar
semantic qualities. Number 5 stands out from the rest. It uses a verb
of speaking to introduce a transition. I don't think #5 is at the same
discourse level as 1-4. It does not really introduce a totally new

The semantics of 1,2,3 are distinct from 4. Since KAI META TAUTA
includes the idea of sequence which is lacking from the others. However
I think 1,2,3,4 are all potentially boundary markers at the same level
of discourse and at a higher level of discourse than 5. Also there is
enough similarity in meaning between #4 and the group 1,2,3 to lump them

The main point:

Would it not be possible to label 1, 2,3,4 with a semantic label which
would indicate a meta category of boundary markers? In more simple
language, could we not give the type of boundary marker represented by
this group a name? Then we could use this label (name) to search for
breaks in the discourse.

I am suggesting a small change in the way we look for discourse boundary
markers. I am suggesting that we search for semantic patterns FIRST at a
high level of discourse (paragraph and above) and then we can ask
ourselves how these semantic discourse markers are represented lexically
and syntactically.

Perhaps this is what everyone is already doing but it would not appear
to be the case from what little I have read. Someone is probably writing
about this somewhere. If you know about it please let me know. Thanks.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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