[b-hebrew] Expository discourse profile

Ken Penner pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
Fri May 20 09:40:39 EDT 2005

I'm dredging up an old message from the archives, wondering if there is a
published source for some of the ideas Bryan outlined below about
differentiating genres based on the parameters of consecutivity, projection,
and agent orientation (or any other formal system for differentiating

I am wondering what the genre with the features -C -P +AO would look like?
Psalms, perhaps? 1QHa?
What about +C +P -AO? Casuistry? (a combination of instructional and
procedural discourse)? 11QT?

Ken Penner, Ph.D. cand., McMaster University
pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
Flash! Pro vocabulary software: http://s91279732.onlinehome.us/flash or

> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of B. M. Rocine
> Sent: February 6, 2003 5:19 PM


> Genres, in this view, are unlike the genres posited by the 
> literary critic
> or poet.  In the model I use, genres perform a simple, universal
> communication task, as follows:
> Historical Narrative tells a story set in the past.
> Predictive Narrative predicts a story.
> Hortatory Discourse directly attempts to modify behavior.
> Instructional Discourse tells how to do something.
> Procedural Discourse tells how something was done (repeatedly).
> Expository Discourse reveals truth of any other sort.
> Three parameters inherent to the communication tasks also define the
> discourse genres by their presence or absence; they are: 
> consecutivity (C),
> projection (P), and agent orientation (AO),.
> Consecutivity is present when the text displays a line of temporal
> contingencies.  Linkage is mostly temporal rather than logical.
> Projection is present when the text looks forward as 
> prediction or wish.
> Agent orientation is present when the text focuses on 
> participants (rather
> than abstractions or goals).
> The genres fall out like this (+ means the feature is 
> present, and - means
> it is absent):
>                parameters:       C  P  AO
> genres:
> Historical Narrative          +   -   +
> Predictive Narrative         +   +   +
> Hortatory Discourse         -   +   +
> Instructional Discourse      -   +   -
> Procedural Discourse       +   -   -
> Expository Discourse        -   -   -
> As one might imagine from the above descriptions, the two 
> narrative genres
> will be dominated by forms that move story time forward.  In contrast,
> Hortatory and Instructional discourses will be dominated by 
> modal forms.
> The first five genres will use a series of mostly action 
> verbs to form the
> text.

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