[b-greek] Constituent order

From: boyd@huxcomm.net
Date: Mon Nov 05 2001 - 05:51:22 EST

After seeing Clay cite Levinsohn's book on discourse features of NT
Greek several times,** I decided to have my local library get it for
me through interlibrary loan, which led me to buy the book for
myself (dating before marriage is a good rule for books).

I'm still working through the book, but I wondered if others could
comment on his approach to constituent order. Is his approach
generally accepted by linguists, or is he building his whole system
on questional assumptions? How do other approaches differ?

For those who don't have his book, he essentially says that if a
sentence begins with a nonverbal constituent, it will either be a
"point of departure" or "in focus." (p. 45). A point of departure
"provides a starting point for the communication" and "cohesively
anchors the subsequent clause(s) to something which is already in
the context (i.e., to something accessible in the hearer's mental
representation.)." (p. 8). "The focus of an utterance is that part
which is intended to make the most important... change in the
hearer's mental representation." (p. 32 n. 8).

I enjoy discussing books that I'm reading with people, especially
people who know a lot more than I do. Any discussion would be

Jonathan Boyd
Huxley, IA

**Stephen H. Levinsohn, _Discourse Features of New Testament
Greek_, 2d ed. (Dallas: SIL International, 2000).

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