Prominence in Passive Construction with hUPO in Mk 1:9

c stirling bartholomew cc.constantine at
Wed Sep 26 17:27:06 EDT 2001

on 9/26/01 1:50 PM, c stirling bartholomew wrote:

> Hi Mark, 
> on 9/26/01 1:03 PM, Mark DelCogliano wrote:
>> Can a pronomial inflectional ending really be said to have prominence?
> Yes, it has the lowest level of subject encoding possible:
> The levels are:  (I doing this from memory so I may miss something)
> Full Noun Phrase (most)
> Pronoun
> Pronominal Verb Inflection (least)
> The issue of subject prominence, specifically how it is linked to the level of
> subject encoding is a set of relative relationships which can be viewed as a
> range from least to most.
> This whole topic comes under the subject of "participant reference" in
> discussions of Discourse Analysis.
> Clearly this is a different issue from  prominence marked by constituent
> order. That I believe, was what your original question was about.

Well I went and looked at Levinshon and just as I suspected this subject is
somewhat complex. It would appear that using Pronominal Verb Inflection in
Mk 1:9b is just the normal thing to do after the subject was introduced in
Mk 1:9a with a full noun phrase. So it is perhaps a little bit risky to make
statements about relative prominence based on this issue. There is really no
good reason why a full noun phrase or a pronoun should be used in Mk 1:9b
since there has been no interruption of the flow of thought and the subject
from Mk 1:9a is still well in mind.

So my whole line of argument concerning this isn't in accord with the
**Givon/*Levinshon model of participant reference.

My eclectic approach to Discourse Analysis tends to lead me down blind
alleys on occasion. Picking up too may ideas from too many different sources
and not having the whole thing well integrated.

However, I would guess that this problem isn't one unique to me. The
business of borrowing one piece from a linguistic model and applying it in a
new context where it wasn't intended to be used is more or less standard
practice among people who use linguistic models for the pragmatic purpose of
analyzing texts. Even the "theory" people do this once in a while.

Thanks for all the stimulating discussion. Now I must go back and stare and
2nd Peter for a while. One of the NT's most difficult books to read.


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

**Givon, Talmy. Syntax: A Functional-Typological Introduction, (2 vols.)
Benjamins, Amsterdam, 1984, 1990.

*Levinsohn, Stephen Discourse Features of New Testament Greek,  2nd Ed.
 SIL  2000.

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