[b-hebrew] Expository discourse profile

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Sat May 21 07:41:23 EDT 2005

Hi Ken,

The sources would be Longacre, _The Grammar of Discourse_ (1996, Plenum) and 
Dawson,  _Text-linguistics and Biblical Hebrew_ (1994, Sheffield).  See p. 
146 in Dawson, for example.

> 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
> genres).
> I am wondering what the genre with the features -C -P +AO would look like?
> Psalms, perhaps? 1QHa?

Right.  Dawson says a eulogy is an example, but we also find passages of 
the -C -P +AO type in psalms about the Lord, who is most assuredly not dead! 
The speaker/writer presents a catalogue of the achievements and qualities of 
someone without special attention to chronology.

Many psalms have a hortatory frame.  That is, they begin and end with 
exhortations to praise the Lord.  The large middle section is expository, 
which highlights the character or achievements of the Lord, making Him 
worthy of praise.  For example, Psa 135.  My point is that I often analyze 
one text as a inter-relation of more than one genre.  For example one psalm 
may contain material of one genre that hosts material of another embedded 
genre.  Expository material often supports hortatory material.  These genres 
are not literary genres; they are text-grammatical genres.

Psa 1 is wholly expository.  Psa 150 is wholly hortatory.  Psa 135 is 
expository embedded within hortatory.

> What about +C +P -AO? Casuistry? (a combination of instructional and
> procedural discourse)? 11QT?

It is instructional.  (meaning the chart I give in the quoted material below 
has an error (sorry!).)  IOW, the text tells how to do something.  It is 
plus C because the text communicates a process with a chronological 
sequence.  It is plus projection because the text is about an activity 
someone may want to perform in the future.  It is minus agent orientation 
because it is not focused on a particular agent whom we may name.  Rather it 
is focused on a goal or achievement that any qualified person may attempt.



B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

ph: 315.437.6744
fx: 315.437.6766
> Ken Penner, Ph.D. cand., McMaster University
> pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
> Flash! Pro vocabulary software: http://s91279732.onlinehome.us/flash or
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/flash_pro/join
>> [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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