[b-greek] Re: Topic Prominence Marking: Jn 19b-27

From: c stirling bartholomew (cc.constantine@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Wed Nov 07 2001 - 12:49:25 EST

on 11/7/01 5:47 AM, Mike Sangrey wrote:

> Another good example of this is Luke 22:54-23:23. Jonathan M. Watt[1]
> points out the infrequency of the word (name) `Jesus' in the account.
> He mentions that the closest antecedent of the pronouns in Luke 22:63-64
> is Peter and NOT Jesus. He also points out the disparity in frequency
> between the other gospel accounts and this one in Luke. The frequency
> of the use of Jesus' name per verse in the other accounts varies from
> .23 to .42. In the Lukan account it is .07.
> Jonathan's point is that the NAMELESSNESS of Jesus is there for its
> rhetorical effect. The effect being the sense of shame and disgrace.


The socio-rhetorical analysis using the Honor/Shame scheme is somewhat
removed from Topic, Focus and Foreground. It is a different methodology with
different assumptions. I recently encounter an extensive use of the
Honor/Shame scheme in J.H. Neyrey's commentary on 2Peter/Jude (AB 1993). But
that is a different subject.

Participant Encoding and Topicality

Heimerdinger* does address the level of participant encoding (e.g., noun
phrase, pronoun, zero anaphora) in his discussion of topicality (see pps.
123-125). He argues that referential distance is not the only factor to
consider when observing how a participant is encoded.

He notes that Abraham is encoded repeatedly as a full noun phrase (Gen. 22)
where the referential distance does not require this. He suggests that using
a full noun phrase for Abraham in a context where a pronoun or zero
anaphora would be sufficient increases the topical prominence of Abraham.

I will need some time to think this one over. The example you cite from Luke
(see above) seems at first glance to undermine this idea.



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

*Heimerdinger, Jean-Marc. Topic, focus and foreground in ancient Hebrew
narratives, Sheffield Academic Press, c1999.

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