discourse and aspect

Randall Buth ButhFam at compuserve.com
Sun Jan 6 11:37:21 EST 2002

shalom Dave and Paul,
>Dave Washburn said:
>>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.
>Actually discourse analysis is not as transparently complicated as you've
>presented it.  As chiasmus (or contrast, which would be a better term for
>what is happening here) does in inself form a cohesive unit, you could
>expect this smaller unit to fit "as is" into the larger
>chain structure.  It is only unattached X-qatals that would indicate
>something being off the mainline.  Or that is how I understand it, at
>Paul Schaefer

As Paul points out "Chiasmus" is an apparent phenomeon that arises from 
larger concerns. Part of the 'proof' of this is that "Chiasmus" as
/contrast is not limited to two constituents. The contrasted clause may
any number of constituents, however they will have something fronted before
the verb to "pause" the story line for the comparison. The item so-fronted 
will normally be the entity that is being compared, and the contents of the

comparison/contrast will follow in the predicate. 
Consequently, Hebrew grammarians would be better off dropping "chiasmus" 
from their list of grammar structures. It is better to say that it doesn't
exist as 
a grammar structure.


Randall Buth 

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