[b-greek] Re: Discourse Analysis - Already but Not Yet

From: yochanan bitan-buth (ButhFam@compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Aug 02 2000 - 12:32:58 EDT

cindy egrayen:
>But then, I have a bias towards starting from the bottom and going up. I
>think that top-down analysis is more limited and less objective.

While I'm not sure that top-down (e.g. "label macro units and show
structure of episodes and paragraphs") is necessarily less-objective, I
would agree with Cindy in a more bottom up approach. For a linguistic
reason. Texts are communicated one word at a time, they are linearized.
Someone quoted Stephen Levinson in a recent email to the same effect, and
again I agree. We process and reevaluate global hypotheses as we meet the
little units of a text.

The goal of a Greek student, or any language student, should be to
recognize the little processing signals that a language uses so that they
too may process a text 'on the fly'. As a written text we may certainly
reread, but we should be aware that the signals were developed in a
language for immediate processing and hypothesis setting.

Things like DE versus KAI, AORIST vs IMPERFECT, finite verb versus
participle, fronted word orders, delayed orders, (and 'split' word orders),
overdifferentiation/underdifferentiation of participant reference, etc..
These are the nuts and bolts of DA that build up and organize units,
subjects and salient/thematic information. On a parallel track, the
'explicit' text gets interpreted through a 'relevance theory' filter of
communicative expectations and assumptions into a fuller "interpretation",
which allows comparison with then-contemporary literature. thus, "DA
(functional version) standing on one leg." (in the Hebrew sense, `al regel
aHat=in a nutshell)

Randall Buth
Chair, Hebrew Bible and Semitic Languages
Jerusalem University College

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [jwrobie@mindspring.com]
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:36:33 EDT