Participial Salience - Longacre

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Mon Feb 28 2000 - 16:47:51 EST

<x-charset ISO-8859-1>R. E. Longacre* states that the salience of a preposed participle
(before the finite verb) is relative to the finite verb it is associated
with and less than that verb (see his chart on page 179). This means
that a preposed participle dependent on a finite verb in the imperfect
will have less salience than preposed participles dependent on finite
verbs in the aorist or historical present.

Longacre also states (p, 177) that a postposed participle (after the
finite verb) "is of the same semantic rank as the verb it follows; that
is, it is consecutive on the preceding main verb and continues its

My question is about postposed participles. It seems that Longacre's
scheme makes the postposed participle a completely different animal from
the preposed participle. In other words, he seems to be saying that the
semantic and syntactic function of the participle is dependent on word
order. Does this wash? Can we say without qualification that the
position of the participle relative to its finite verb determines its
semantic and syntactic function in the discourse?

I am particularly interested in seeing examples where the postposed
participle seems to function like a preposed participle. In other words
I am looking for counter examples to help clarify Longacre's salience

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

* Page 177ff, Porter, Stanley E. & Jeffrey T. Reed „Discourse Analysis and the New Testament, Sheffield Academic Press, 1999.

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