discourse and aspect

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Dec 20 18:39:22 EST 2001

> Dear List Members (particularly those interested in discourse analysis),
> Now that the semester has wound down, I can post a question.  But, is
> anyone out there?
> Is seems to me, as I try to analyze passages according to a discourse
> approach, that I find dissimilar forms used to express a complete
> thought or action.  (See examples below.)
> Historical Narrative
> Gen 1:5
> Wayyiqtol (mainline): “And God called the light day”
> X-qatal (offline, but completes thought): “and/but the darkness he
> called night.”
> Gen 4:2 b,c
> wayyiqtol (mainline) “And it happened that Abel was and shepherd of a
> flock”
> X-qatal (offline, but completes thought) “but Cain was a tiller of the
> ground.”
> Gen 4:3b-4a
> wayyiqtol (mainline) “And Cain brought. . .”
> x-qatal (offline but completes thought) “and/but Abel brought. . .”
I'm getting ready to dash out the door so I can only address this one 
cluster at this point, but these are all chiastic.  F. I. Andersen 
(The Sentence in Biblical Hebrew) explains chiasmus as a device for 
tying two things into one, two sides of a coin, so to speak.  Each of 
these illustrates this quite well, and there's no need to 
mainline/offline or anything else.  This is one of my many gripes 
with discourse analysis, but that's another topic...these are simple 
chiasmus.  Nothing more.
Dave Washburn
This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to 
do with it.

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