[B-Greek] referential complexity: frames & scenarios and Galatians 6:18

Elizabeth Kline kline_dekooning at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 23 17:31:18 EDT 2010

On Apr 23, 2010, at 10:21 AM, Yancy Smith wrote:

> Ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματος ὑμῶν, ἀδελφοί· ἀμήν.
> Activates a prayer scenario, blessing is a slot within the prayer frame. Indirect language, third person imperatives and references is an appropriate grammatical form in this scenario.


I am wondering just how the prayer scenario is activated. My best guess is the scenario is triggered by the opening words hH CARIS TOU KURIOU hHMWN IHSOU CRISTOU. This sort analysis might mistaken by some  for a species of form-criticism which it is emphatically not. Form criticism and frame theory are not even distant cousins. The are not related in any way.   

> Understanding the scenario and the slots that fit in with it (as well as the interconnecting scenarios) is an important grand metaphor for handling the contextual effects of an utterance. The information contained in this utterance is not new; rather, the utterance is an performative.

I would suspect that whole "benediction" would be hearer-old even if it is discourse-new. In other words, the formula would be assumed by the author to be familiar to his intended addressees. 

> The words effect the blessing to which they refer, like saying, "I now pronounce you man and wife." In a different context, say, perhaps a seminary student seeking out information about the human spirit or the Holy Spirit would draw very different and potentially bizarre conclusions. In some cultural contexts readers might surmise that Paul is right to bless their spirit with the grace of Christ, because in those contexts it is supposed that the spirit wanders at night and may not be aware of the dangers it may get itself into. Context [frames, scenarios, assumed information, social pragmatics], inference, and a principle that helps the reader calculate the most likely frame evoked by the utterance are all critically important in the deduction of the meaning represented by grammar and syntax.

I agree, the potential for misunderstanding META TOU PNEUMATOS hUMWN cross culturally is enormous and the way to approach it is to first ascertain what frame TOU PNEUMATOS hUMWN activates for Paul and then transform it into form which will activate the same frame for the audience reading/hearing the translation. That is assuming that you are you are employing transculturation as a matter of policy in you translation.  

Elizabeth Kline

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