[b-greek] Re: Great Divide

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (c.s.bartholomew@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Wed Sep 20 2000 - 00:15:08 EDT

Hello Brian,

on 09/19/00 3:15 PM, Brian Swedburg wrote:
> specifically, the use of the Greek language, the challenge seems best met when
> the reader/interpreter can discern whether FLFA or SPA features most
> objectively allow them to grasp the author's intended meaning.

Well first of all, FLFA is not a class of features, it is an approach to
language study. A formal language feature aficionado (FLFA) is someone who
thinks they can understand what a text is saying by focusing their attention
on issues like verb marking, case endings, clause syntax and so forth and so
on. FLFAs and semantic priority aficionados (SPA) are not just two methods
employed by the same reader, they are perspectives on language that govern
how the the reader reads a text. The SPA comes to the text with a different
set of expectations than the FLFA.

SPA's and FLFA's are just fictional categories of readers. In real life
readers don't fall neatly into one category or the another but the fictional
categories are useful for discussing differences in methodology.

The hypothetical semantic priority aficionado (SPA) is highly preoccupied
with the semantic and pragmatic goals of the author/text. The SPA knows that
these goals are best discovered by the reading and analysis of large units.
The SPA looks for the semantic and pragmatic goals of the author/text at the
paragraph level and above.

The major semantic and pragmatic goals of an author/text can be grasped even
in an ancient language text without recourse to a lot of low level analysis.
Why? Because natural language texts are typically very very redundant. When
Paul wants to say something in a letter he often says it several different
times in several different ways. You can discover Paul's semantic and
pragmatic goals by reading the whole letter or more than one letter and you
can gain this understanding without giving a lot of attention to low level
formal language features.

The SPA, again, comes to the text with a different set of expectations than
an FLFA. This SPA does not expect Paul to embed cryptograms in his letters
which must be tortured out of the text by the kabalistic exegetical
methodology which is common place among the more advanced sort of formal
language feature aficionados.

Keep in mind that to function as a semantic priority aficionado you must be
able to read the text. People who are not able to read are going to need to
work with one text until they can read it before they can function as an
SPA. This can be done by a second year student but it means you must stay in
one text for a while until you master it.

I assume this post will help muddle the issue a little.


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

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