[b-greek] Frames & Participant Reference Encoding

From: c stirling bartholomew (cc.constantine@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Thu Nov 08 2001 - 16:07:59 EST

A "Frame" is a complex high level semantic (cognitive) construct which can
be activated in discourse by introducing a single identifiable component of
the frame.

Heimerdinger* (page 138) quotes from Filmore**

"By the term 'frame' I have in mind any system of concepts related in such a
way that to understand any of them you have to understand the whole
structure in which it fits; when one of the things in such a structure is
introduced into a text, or into a conversation, all of the others are
automatically made available."

The notion of frames explains one reason why a new discourse participant can
be introduced with a definite article. Let us illustrate:

In John 18:16 THi QURWRWi introduces a new participant. But this new
participant has the definite article. Why? Because a general "frame" has
been activated by THN AULHN TOU ARCIEREWS and more specifically a location
identifier PROS THi QURAi EXW has placed the action within the frame.
QURWROS is a component of the frame which has been activated, it is part of
the system of associations that are connected with THN AULHN TOU ARCIEREWS
and further defined by PROS THi QURAi EXW.

The point of all this is that high level semantic (cognitive) constructions
like "Frames" have a direct impact on our understanding of syntax. Attempts
to explain certain surface level facts in terms of surface level grammar and
syntax ALONE will at times fail because something is going on in the higher
levels of the discourse structure which is being ignored.



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.

**Filmore, Charles J.. Frame Semantics in Linguistic Society of Korea
(eds.), Linguistic in the Morning Calm (Hashin Pub .Co. 1982): pps. 111-38.

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