A Discourse Analysis of First CorinthiansRalph Bruce Terry
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The Linear Structure of a Text

The most obvious way to divide a text is into a linear hierarchy of units, with each unit being embedded within larger units and being composed of one or more smaller units. The traditional method of outlining biblical books depends upon this principle of analyzing a text. Longacre (1983b, 285) has posited that any text can be analyzed hierarchically by distinguishing eight levels of units: discourse, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase, word, stem, and morpheme. Generally speaking, units on a lower level combine to form units on a higher level; however, levels can be skipped so that, for example, a sentence can be analyzed as being a combination of words. This is due to the fact that it is possible to have one unit constructions. There can be one paragraph discourses, one sentence paragraphs, one clause sentences (usually called "simple sentences"), one word phrases, and one morpheme words. It is even possible to collapse all the levels so as to have a one morpheme discourse, as when someone shouts "Fire!"

In addition, Longacre (1983b, 279-280) has noted that it is possible for units to be formed recursively. A paragraph may be composed of two or more paragraphs. A word may be composed of two or more words; for example, the word 'football' is made by combining the words 'foot' and 'ball'. Recursion can also work in combining elements that are not on the same level. A paragraph can be composed of a topic sentence plus an amplification paragraph. A prepositional phrase can be composed of recursively embedded prepositional phrases (e.g., "the power of the Spirit of the God of heaven"). This kind of recursion can also happen on the word level (e.g., 'right', 'righteous', and 'righteousness').

Longacre (1983b, 280-281) has also noted a third kind of combination of units that he calls backlooping. This is where higher level units are embedded within lower level units. A typical example of such a construction is a relative clause modifying a noun phrase (e.g., "the God who brought Israel out of Egypt"). Another common occurrence of backlooping occurs when a quoted paragraph is embedded in the object slot of a quotative sentence. But backlooping can even happen in some not so common ways. For example, a noun phrase can be embedded in a slot that usually expects a noun, such as "the King of England's crown" where the phrase "King of England" is marked with a possessive morpheme just like a noun would be. Both Pike (1967, 107) and Longacre (1983b, 280) have noted Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, "see-how-far-you've-come-ism," where a whole clause is embedded in a slot that usually takes a noun stem.

The Colon as Linguistic Sentence

A question arises at this point as to exactly what the linguistic declarative sentence is in Greek. Two endmarks of punctuation are used in declarative text by modern editors of Greek texts: the period and the colon. The period defines the end of the Greek sentence in current usage, and the raised dot (also called a 'colon') defines the end of the colon. The colon is in every respect a linguistic sentence: the nucleus is an independent clause and it is modified by various types of subordinate clauses. In his work on New Testament Greek semantics, Louw notes, "in this analysis the colon is defined, not in terms of its semantic unity, but in terms of certain specific grammatical structures which in many ways parallel what would be regarded as sentences in English" (1982, 95). It may well be that what modern editors mark as a multi-colon Greek sentence corresponds to a simple type of paragraph. This same kind of confusion as to what a linguistic sentence is exists in English. Charles Fries (1952, 10-11) once asked a number of English teachers to decide how many sentences existed within a text that could be punctuated with both periods and semi-colons. They could not agree on the actual number of sentences in the text. Despite the ambiguity as to what constitutes a sentence, in both Greek and English, it seems best to choose the colon as the linguistic sentence, since it is the minimal possible sentence.

This colon marked in current editions of the Koiné Greek New Testament should not be confused with what the ancient Greek grammarians referred to as a kwlon 'colon', for this unit corresponds more to the modern clause (Demetrius, On Style I [§1-8]). The colon as marked by modern editors was called a periodoV 'period' by ancient grammarians such as Demetrius (On Style I [§10-11]).

Louw (1982) has also chosen to make the colon the unit of choice for discourse analysis in the Greek New Testament. Besides the basic fact that the Greek colon as currently marked seems to correspond to the linguistic sentence, Louw gives an additional reason for using the terminology colon to describe the linguistic unit analyzed: "in certain linguistic analyses the term sentence (with the abbreviation S) has been employed in speaking of any syntactic string which may be less or even more than a colon" (1982, 100).

This study differs from Louw's use of the term in only one respect: Louw rejects the possibility of having a compound colon. He writes, "All of this means that so-called simple sentences and complex sentences (those with dependent clauses) are regarded as colons, while so-called coordinate sentences (those in which potentially independent clauses are combined by coordinate conjunctions) are regarded as consisting of two or more colons" (Louw 1982, 102). There are four reasons for not following Louw in his rejection of compound colons. First, the standard Greek punctuation of colons in current editions of the New Testament sometimes includes coordinated independent clauses within a single colon. To redefine the colon as Louw does would have each researcher working with different units. Second, Louw wants "the man went to Boston and the boy played in his room" (1982, 101) to be two colons, while he understands "the horse and the bull are grazing" (1982, 101) to be a single colon with a compound subject (although it is typically analyzed as two kernel sentences in the deep structure) and "my good friend came and gave me a book" (1982, 97) to be a single colon with a compound predicate. Against this is the fact that a Greek verb can be a colon on its own, since subject agreement is marked on the verb and can function as an indicator of the subject of the clause. Thus a compound predicate can usually also be analyzed as compound clauses in Greek. Third, the fact that one can have compound subjects in a subject slot and compound predicates in a predicate slot would argue that by analogy one could also have compound clauses in a clause slot of a colon. Finally, evidence indicates that kai 'and' often occurs between clauses in a compound colon but rarely between colons. Of 105 instances of kai 'and' where the word occurs as the only conjunction in uncontracted form in I Corinthians, 95 occur within the colon and only 10 occur at the beginning of a colon. This is similar to the findings of Levinsohn in the book of Acts, where he discovered that kai 'and' was used mainly to join elements within what he called development units (1987, 96-120).

With this brief introduction to the concept of four kinds of embedding (normal, skipped, recursive, and backlooped) and the selection of the Greek colon as the linguistic sentence, it is possible to proceed to analyze the text of I Corinthians as a combination of units or particles. This study will focus on the relationships of the higher level units, especially paragraphs.

Structural Paragraphs

All sentences in a paragraph share some kind of relationship with one another. Using Pike's four-celled tagmeme as a descriptor, that relationship can always be described in terms of role. More will be said about the role relationship further in this chapter. For the present, the question must be posed: Are there relationships between sentences which bind them together in paragraphs and yet these relationships can be described in a purely structural way (i.e., in tagmemic terms, can be described merely using slot and class)? The answer is yes. There are several kinds of paragraphs in I Corinthians that are marked by grammatical features in the surface structure.

First, there is a question-answer paragraph that in its simplest form consists of two colons: the first a question and the second an answer. Examples of this in I Corinthians include 11:22 and 14:15, as shown in (29).

(29) Q  epaineaw umaV;                                   (11:22)
        shall I praise you?
     A  en toutw ouk epainw.
        in this not I praise

Second, there is a question-command paragraph that consists of a question followed by a command. This form often functions as a type of conditional command. If the question can be answered affirmatively, the command should be obeyed. Examples of this include 7:18 (bis), 21, and 27 (bis), as shown in (30).

(30) A  Q dedesai           gunaiki;                                (7:27)
          have you been bound to a wife?
        C mh zhtei lusin.
          not seek a loosing.

A' Q lelusai apo gunaikoV; have you been loosed from a wife? C mh zhtei gunaika. not seek a wife.

For a field perspective of the various patterns in this structure, see (40) below. The example in 7:21 is of a double command, the second one introduced by all' ei 'but if', with the conditional clause introducing an additional condition, as shown in (31).

(31) Q             douloV eklhqhV;                       (7:21)
        [were you] a slave being called?
     C  mh    soi meletw
        not to you let it matter 
     C  all' ei kai dunasai eleuqeroV gevesqai, mallon cphsai.
        but if indeed you can free become, rather use [it].

Third, there are paragraphs that show a grammatical chiastic structure. Examples of these include 9:20-22, 10:7-10, and 13:8-13, as shown below in (51), (52), and (62). Such paragraphs can be viewed either as structures from a particle perspective or as patterns from a field perspective. But since non-linear paragraphs are handled better from the field perspective, these will be discussed below in more detail in the section on chiasmus under the heading of field.

Finally, there are paragraphs which are composed of parallel units, either smaller embedded paragraphs or linguistic sentences (colons). These can be categorized by whether they are composed of two or more than two units, here called binary or multiple, respectively. They can also be categorized by whether they are composed of statements, questions, or commands. Where these parallel structures are composed of two or three colons, they are sometimes referred to as couplets or triplets, respectively.

There are three examples in I Corinthians of paragraphs composed of parallel microparagraphs, that is, low level paragraphs whose only constituent units are linguistic sentences (colons). All examples are binary, limited to two parallel units. I Corinthians 15:39-41 is an example of two parallel microparagraphs involving statements. The Today's English Version (TEV) starts a new orthographic paragraph in the middle of this structure, but such would not seem to fit the Greek text. I Corinthians 7:18 and 7:27 are examples of two parallel microparagraphs involving questions, as shown above in (30).

Most of the examples of parallelism involve colons rather than microparagraphs. By far the greatest number of parallel structures involve binary colon statements. There are varying degrees of parallelism in I Corinthians, but the following are clear examples of this type of microparagraph: 3:5, 14-15; 6:12; 7:22; 9:17; 10:21, 23; 11:4-5, 8-9; 12:15-16, 26; 14:4, 15; and 16:23-24. I Corinthians 12:26 is shown in (32) as an example.

(32) A  kai eite pascei en meloV,                                (12:26)
        and if suffers one member,
            sumpascei        panta ta melh
            suffer together all the members;
     A' eite doxazetai [en]meloV,
        if is glorified one member,
        sugcairei    panta ta melh.
        rejoice together all the members.

There are also several examples of parallel structures that involve binary colon questions. Among the clearest examples are 7:16; 9:1, 5-6; 10:16; 11:22 (bis); and 15:55, with the latter shown in (33) as an example.

(33) A  pou    sou,     qanate, to nikoV;                             (15:55)
        where [is] your, [O] death, the victory?
     A' pou    sou,     qanate, to kentron;
        where [is] your, [O] death, the sting?

I Corinthians also contains some examples of parallel binary colon commands. Among these are 7:12-13; 10:25 and 27; and 14:28 and 30. I Corinthians 7:12-13 is shown in (34) as an example.

(34) A  ei tiV adelfoV gunaika ecei apiston,                            (7:12)
        if any brother a wife has unbelieving
           kai auth suneudokei oikein met' autou,
           and she consents to live with him,
           mh afietw             authn
           not let him divorce her.
     A' kai gunh ei tiV ecei andra apiston,                             (7:13)
        and woman if any has a husband unbelieving
           kai outoV suneudokei oikein met' authV,
           and he consents to live with her,
           mh afietw             ton andra.
           not let her divorce the husband.

Turning from binary to multiple colon parallelism, there are several examples of triple colon statements in I Corinthians. Among the clearest are 4:8, 10; 7:32-34; 12:4-6; 13:1-3; and 15:42-44. I Corinthians 12:4-6 is given in (35) as an example.

(35) A  DiaireseiV de carismatwn eisin,                             (12:4)
       varieties now of gifts there are
           to de auto pneuma
           the but same Spirit;
     A' kai diaireseiV diakoniwn eisin,                             (12:5)
        and varieties of service there are, 
           kai o autoV kurioV
           yet the same Lord;
     A" kai diaireseiV energhmatwn eisin,                           (12:6)
        and varieties of workingthere are , but it is
           o de autoV qeoV, o energwn ta panta en pasin.
           the but same God who works them all in everyone.

There are also five examples of parallelism in multiple colon questions: 1:20; 9:7; 12:17 and 19; 12:29; and 12:30. The second one is given as an example in (36).

(36) A  tiV strateuetai idioiV oywnioiV pote;                            (9:7)
        who soldiers [at his] own expense ever?
     A' tiV futeuei ampelwna kai ton karpon autou ouk esqiei;
        who plants a vineyard and the fruit of it not eats?
     A" h tiV poimainei poimnhn kai ek tou galaktoV
        or who tends a flock and from the milk 
           thV poimnhV ouk esqiei;
           of the flocknot eats?

All of these examples are triplets, except for 12:29, which contains four grammatically parallel questions.

Thus, the book of I Corinthians contains four basic types of grammatically structured paragraphs: question-answer, question-command, chiastic, and parallel. These units form the smallest types of paragraphs in I Corinthians. Ideally, any analysis of paragraph structure in this book would not start a new paragraph in the middle of one of these units. Unfortunately, in English translations, this has not always been the case, as we shall shortly see.

Orthographic Paragraphs

Using analytical techniques, discourse analysis does not always turn up the same paragraph junctures that are marked by translators and editors in a text. Even translators and editors differ among themselves as to exactly where a new paragraph should begin. Some do not begin paragraphs very often, while others begin paragraphs rather frequently. A comparison of paragraph beginnings between the New American Standard Version (NASV) and the Today's English Version (TEV), as shown in Table 6, will bear this out. The translators of the New American Standard Version begin new paragraphs less frequently than the editors of the Greek texts, while the Today's English Version begins new paragraphs with such a frequency that they cut across structural Greek paragraphs and even colon boundaries. This technique may be legitimate paragraphing for a simple English translation (for English paragraphing rules may well vary from Greek rules), but it is of little use to the discourse analyst who is trying to draw on the understanding of others to help determine paragraph boundaries in the Greek text.

Orthographic paragraphing is of limited use in discourse analysis because it generally ignores the recursive nature of paragraphs. Most translations have only one level of paragraph indication. An exception is the 26th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, which indicates three levels of paragraphing by orthographic technique: major section breaks are indicated by spacing before a paragraph, major paragraph breaks are indicated by indention from the left margin, and minor paragraph breaks are indicated by additional spacing within a line. Where translations indicate only one level of paragraphing, there is little indication as to whether indention is taking place to signify major paragraphs, intermediate paragraphs, or minor paragraphs.


                          TABLE 6
                               
          ORTHOGRAPHIC PARAGRAPHS FOR I CORINTHIANS

--------------------------------------------------------------
      |Vocative   |1p|2p|NA26|UBS|NASV|RSV|NIV|NEB|TEV|JerB|TT
------+-----------+--+--+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+----+--
 1:1  |           |F |  | XX | XX| XX | XX| XX| XX| XX| XX |XX
 1:2  |           |  |  |    |   |    | X | X |   | X |    |
 1:3  |           |  |  |    |   |    | X | X | X | X |    |
 1:4  |           |F |  | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 1:10 |brothers   |F |B | XX | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 1:13 |           |P |  |    |   |    |   | X |   |   |    |
 1:14 |           |F |B |    |   |    |   |   |   | X |    |
 1:17 |           |B |  |    |   |    |   |   |   |   | X  |
 1:18 |           |B |  | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X |    |X
 1:20 |           |P |  |    |   |    |   | X |   |   |    |
 1:21 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   |   |   | X |    |
 1:25 |           |P |  |    |   |    |   |   | X |   |    |
 1:26 |brothers   |  |F | X  | X | X  | X | X |   | X | X  |X
 2:1  |brothers   |F |P | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 2:6  |           |B |  | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 2:10 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   |   |   |   | X  |
 2:10b|           |  |  |    |   |    |   | X | X |   |    |
 2:13 |           |B |  |    |   |    |   |   |   | X*|    |
 2:14 |           |P |  |    |   |    | X |   |   |   |    |
 3:1  |brothers   |B |  | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 3:5  |           |P |P |    |   |    | X | X | X | X | X  |
 3:10 |           |F |P | x  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 3:16 |           |  |F | x  |   | X  | X | X |   | X | X  |X
 3:18 |           |  |P | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 4:1  |           |  |  | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 4:6  |brothers   |F |F | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 4:8  |           |  |B |    |   |    | X | X | X | X |    |
 4:14 |           |B |  | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 4:16 |           |B |B | x  |   |    |   |   |   |   |    |
 4:18 |           |B |  | x  |   |    |   | X |   | X | X  |
 5:1  |           |P |  | XX | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 5:3  |           |B |B |    |   |    | X |   |   |   |    |
 5:6  |           |P |P | x  |   |    | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 5:9  |           |B |F | x  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 5:12 |           |P |P |    |   |    |   | X |   | X |    |
 5:13 |           |  |F |    |   |    |   |   |   |   | X  |
 6:1  |           |  |B | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 6:7  |           |  |  | x  |   |    | X | X |   | X |    |
 6:9  |           |  |B | x  |   |    | X | X |   |   | X  |
 6:12 |           |  |B | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 6:15 |           |  |F |    |   |    |   |   |   | X | X  |
 6:18 |           |  |F |    |   |    |   | X |   | X | X  |
 7:1  |           |  |B | XX | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 7:1b |           |  |P |    |   |    |   |   |   | X*|    |
 7:6  |           |F |P |    |   |    |   |   | X | X |    |
 7:8  |           |B |  | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 7:10 |           |F |  | x  |   |    | X | X | X | X | X  |
 7:12 |           |B |  |    |   |    | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 7:15 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   | X |   |   |    |
 7:17 |           |  |P | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 7:25 |           |F |  | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 7:26 |           |B |  |    |   |    |   |   |   | X |    |
 7:29 |brothers   |B |  | x  |   |    |   | X | X | X | X  |X
 7:32 |           |F |F | x  |   |    | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 7:35 |           |F |  |    |   |    |   |   | X | X |    |
 7:36 |           |P |  | x  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 7:39 |           |  |  | x  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 8:1  |           |B |  | XX | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 8:1b |           |B |  |    |   |    |   |   |   | X*|    |X*
 8:4  |           |F |  | x  |   |    | X | X | X | X |    |X
 8:7  |           |  |  | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |
 8:9  |           |P |F |    |   |    |   | X |   | X |    |
 9:1  |           |B |  | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 9:3  |           |  |P | x  | X | X  | X | X | X | X |    |
 9:7  |           |P |  |    |   |    |   | X |   |   |    |
 9:8  |           |F |  |    |   |    | X |   |   | X | X  |
 9:12b|           |B |  | x  | X |    | X | X | X | X |    |
 9:13 |           |P |F | x  |   |    |   |   |   |   |    |X
 9:15 |           |F |  |    |   |    | X | X |   | X | X  |
 9:19 |           |B |  | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
 9:23 |           |B |  |    |   |    |   |   |   | X|    |
 9:24 |           |P |F | X  | X | X  | X | X | X |   | X  |X
10:1  |brothers   |B |F | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
10:6  |           |  |  | x  |   |    | X | X | X | X | X  |X
10:11 |           |  |P |    |   |    |   | X | X | X | X  |
10:12 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   |   |   | X |    |X
10:14 |my beloved |  |B | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
10:18 |           |P |F |    |   |    |   | X | X | X |    |
10:19 |           |F |  | x  |   |    |   |   |   |   |    |
10:23 |           |P |  | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
10:25 |           |  |F |    |   |    |   | X | X | X |    |
10:27 |           |  |B |    |   |    |   | X|   | X|    |
10:29b|           |P |P |    |   |    |   |   | X | X |    |X
10:31 |           |P |F | x  |   |    | X | X |   | X |    |X
11:1  |           |B |B |    |   | X | X| X|   |   | X |
11:2  |           |B |B | XX | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
11:3  |           |B |B |    |   |    |   | X |   |   |    |
11:7  |           |  |  | x  |   |    |   |   |   |   | X  |
11:11 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   | X |   |   |    |
11:13 |           |  |F | x  |   |    |   |   | X | X | X  |
11:16 |           |F |  |    |   |    |   |   | X |   | X  |
11:17 |           |B |  | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
11:23 |           |B |  | X  | XX|    | X | X | X | X | X  |X
11:26 |           |  |B |    |   |    |   |   |   | X |    |
11:27 |           |  |P | X  | XX|    | X | X | X |   |    |X
11:28 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   |   |   |   | X  |
11:33 |my brothers|P |F | x  |   |    | X | X | X | X | X  |X
11:34 |           |F |P |    |   |    |   | X |   |   |    |
12:1  |brothers   |B |F | XX | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
12:1b |           |B |F |    |   |    |   |   |   | X*|    |
12:4  |           |P |  | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
12:7  |           |  |  |    |   |    |   | X |   |   |    |
12:12 |           |  |  | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
12:14 |           |P |  | x  |   |    | X | X | X | X | X  |
12:18 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   |   |   |   | X |
12:21 |           |F |  |    |   |    |   | X |   | X |    |
12:22 |           |B |  |    |   |    |   |   |   |   | X  |
12:27 |           |  |F | x  |   |    | X | X | X | X | X  |X
12:31 |           |  |F |    |   |    |   |   |   |   | X  |
12:31b|           |F |P | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X |    |X
13:1  |           |B |  | X  |   | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |
13:4  |           |P |  | X  | X |    | X | X | X | X | X  |X
13:8  |           |  |  | X  | X |    | X | X | X | X | X  |X
13:10 |           |F |  |    |   |    |   |   |   | X |    |
13:13 |           |P |  | x  |   |    |   | X |   | X | X  |
14:1  |           |  |F | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
14:5b |           |P |P |    |   |    |   |   |   | X |    |
14:6  |brothers   |F |  | X  | X |    | X | X |   |   | X  |X
14:7  |           |P |  |    |   |    |   | X |   | X |    |
14:13 |           |  |P | X  |   |    | X | X | X | X | X  |
14:18 |           |F |P | x  |   |    |   |   | X | X |    |
14:20 |brothers   |P |F | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
14:22 |           |P |  |    |   |    |   | X |   |   |    |
14:23 |           |  |F |    |   |    |   |   |   | X |    |
14:26 |brothers   |  |  | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
14:29 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   | X|   |   |    |
14:33b|           |  |  | X  | X |    | X | X | X | X | X  |X
14:34 |           |  |  |    |   | X |   |   |   |   |    |
14:36 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   |   | X | X | X  |
14:37 |           |F |  | X  | X | X  | X | X |   |   |    |X
14:39 |my brothers|  |F | x  |   | X  |   | X | X | X | X  |
15:1  |brothers   |F |F | XX | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
15:3  |           |B |P |    |   |    | X | X | X | X | X  |
15:8  |           |  |  |    |   |    |   |   | X| X|    |
15:9  |           |F |  | x  |   |    |   | X |   |   | X  |
15:12 |           |P |P | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
15:20 |           |P |  | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
15:23 |           |  |  | x  |   |    |   |   |   |   |    |
15:29 |           |  |  | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
15:30 |           |F |  |    |   |    |   |   | X |   |    |
15:33 |           |P |F |    |   |    |   |   | X | X |    |X
15:35 |           |P |  | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
15:39 |           |  |  | x  |   |    |   |   |   | X | X  |
15:40 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   |   |   | X |    |
15:42 |           |  |  | x  | X |    | X | X |   | X |    |X
15:44 |           |  |  | x  |   |    |   | X | X |   | X  |
15:50 |brothers   |B |  | X  | X | X  |   | X | X | X | X  |X
15:51 |behold     |B |  |    |   |    | X|   |   | X|    |
15:54 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   |   |   |   | X  |
15:58 |my beloved |  |F | x  |   | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
      | brothers  |  |  |    |   |    |   |   |   |   |    |
16:1  |           |F |B | XX | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
16:5  |           |B |  | X  | XX|    | X | X | X | X | X  |X
16:8  |           |B |  |    |   |    |   |   |   | X |    |
16:10 |           |  |F | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
16:12 |           |B |P | x  | X |    | X | X |   | X |    |X
16:13 |           |  |  | X  | XX| X  | X | X | X | X | X  |
16:15 |brothers   |F |  | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
16:17 |           |F |P |    |   |    |   |   |   | X|    |
16:19 |           |  |P | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
16:20b|           |  |  |    |   |    |   |   |   | X|    |
16:21 |           |  |P | X  | X | X  | X | X | X | X | X  |X
16:22 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   | X | X | X | X  |
16:22b|Marana     |  |F |    |   |    |   |   | X |   |    |
16:23 |           |  |P |    |   |    |   | X | X | X | X  |
16:24 |           |  |  |    |   |    |   | X | X | X | X  |
--------------------------------------------------------------
Key: 1p=1st person; 2p=2nd person;
     P=Preceding; F=Following; B=Both
     NA26=Nestle-Aland Greek text 26th edition
     UBS=United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament
     NASV=New American Standard Version
     RSV=Revised Standard Version
     NIV=New International Version
     NEB=New English Bible
     TEV=Today's English Version (Good News Bible)
     JerB=Jerusalem Bible
     TT=Translators' Translation
     X=Major paragraph; x=minor paragraph; XX=Section
     *=in middle of colon; =in middle of structured paragraph

However, because different translations and editions indicate different levels of paragraphing, they can be compared to form a general idea of the relative level of the paragraph breaks in a text. In Table 6, two editions of the Greek text of I Corinthians and seven English translations are compared as to paragraph breaks. Those breaks in which seven to nine of the editions and translations agree can be considered major paragraph breaks. In the same way, breaks on which there is agreement between four to six can be considered intermediate and breaks with agreement on only one to three can be considered minor paragraph breaks. The assignment of the classifications major, intermediate, and minor to groups of three is an arbitrary one based on a linear progression; however, it is reasonable that a change in topic which more editors and translators notice is more likely to be more significant than one which fewer editors and translators notice.

Table 6 also lists three other grammatical indications of paragraphing: the presence of vocatives and the word idou 'behold', the use of first person verbs in the colons preceding and following the break, and the use of second person verbs in the colons preceding and following the break. By way of clarification, the term colon following the break is used to refer to the first colon in the new paragraph and the term colon preceding the break is used to refer to the last colon in the previous paragraph.

Vocatives are commonly used to signify the beginning of a paragraph in Greek (cf. Miehle 1981, 98 and Longacre 1983a, 3, 13, 22, 25, 30 for I John as well as Hymes 1986, 80 and Terry 1992, 113, 118 for James). Eighteen of the twenty-five vocatives in I Corinthians occur in the colons that begin paragraphs. In addition, three vocatives (two in 7:16 and one in 7:24) occur in the final colon of a paragraph. The first discourse not only contains a vocative (adelfoi 'brothers') in its first colon in 1:10, but also a vocative (adelfoi mou 'my brothers') in its second colon in 1:11. The remaining three vocatives (one in 15:31 and two in 15:55) are found in the eighth discourse in what is probably peak material (see chapter V of this study for further discussion of peak). The vocative in 15:31 is omitted by many manuscripts, probably because it is not used in this place in the normal Greek way of beginning a paragraph. It is also possible to treat marana (Aramaic for 'Lord') in 16:22 as a vocative, although it is not likely that the transliterated Aramaic marana qa 'O Lord, come' is a paragraph by itself, as the New English Bible (NEB) prints it.

The Greek word idou 'behold' is a particle used as an exclamation, not a vocative; however, it often functions in the same way as a vocative in marking the beginning of paragraphs in Greek. For this reason, the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and the Today's English Version (TEV) mark 15:51 as the beginning of a new paragraph; however, there are structural parallels between 15:50 and 15:51 that indicate that they belong together. Any paragraph that 15:51 begins must be a minor paragraph indeed.

In epistolary text, it is common for the writer to refer to himself and to the readers. This is especially true around paragraph boundaries where the writer is more likely to relate the discussion of general principles to the parties involved. Table 6 lists whether first and second person verbs are found in the colon following or preceding the paragraph boundary or both. Their presence or absence is summarized in Table 7. Table 7 shows that there is an direct relationship between any interpersonal endings and paragraph level. Among major paragraph breaks, 56 (84.8%) had either first or second person verbs in the surrounding colons. Intermediate paragraph breaks showed 23 (79.3%) with interpersonal verbs in the colons on either side of the break. Minor paragraph breaks showed 41 (73.2%) with interpersonal verbs in the surrounding colons. And substructural paragraph breaks showed only 5 (50%) with interpersonal verbs. Thus the higher the paragraphing level, the more likely interpersonal verb endings (either first or second person) are to occur in the surrounding colons. In addition, on a discourse level all 10 (100%) of the discourses in the letter show either first or second person verbs in the colons surrounding the beginning of the discourses.

TABLE 7

FIRST AND SECOND PERSON IN ORTHOGRAPHIC PARAGRAPH BOUNDARIES
IN I CORINTHIANS


Paragraph 1st person 2nd person Either Level Present|Absent Present|Absent Present|Absent
Major 62.1% 37.9% 48.5% 51.5% 84.8% 15.2% 66 total (n=41) (n=25) (n=32) (n=34) (n=56) (n=10) Intermediate 55.2% 44.8% 41.4% 58.6% 79.3% 20.7% 29 total (n=16) (n=13) (n=12) (n=17) (n=23) (n=6) Minor 58.9% 41.1% 39.3% 60.7% 73.2% 26.8% 56 total (n=33) (n=23) (n=22) (n=34) (n=41) (n=15) Substructural 40.0% 60.0% 30.0% 70.0% 50.0% 50.0% 10 total (n=4) (n=6) (n=3) (n=7) (n=5) (n=5)

 

Thus, this tendency for paragraph breaks is especially true for discourse breaks. Table 8 shows the boundary markers for the beginnings of the ten proposed discourses in I Corinthians plus the introduction and conclusion. All ten discourses show either the first or second person in the first colon in the discourse, with half of them showing both. Only the boundary at 7:1 shows the first colon not containing a first person verb. In addition, all the boundaries except for 15:1 show either first or second person in the preceding colon. And all of the discourses begin with the Greek conjunction de 'now'. It is worth noting that if the beginning of the second discourse is chosen to be 5:1 instead of 4:18 then all but one of these generalizations are not valid. This tends to confirm the conclusion of chapter III that the second discourse begins at 4:18 rather than 5:1.

TABLE 8

MARKERS FOR DISCOURSE BOUNDARIES IN I CORINTHIANS

BoundaryIntroductory WordsVocative1st person2nd person
1:1Int   Following 
1:101de NowbrothersFollowingBoth
4:182de Now  Both  
7:13Peri de Now about   Both
8:14Peri de Now about  Both  
11:25de Now  BothBoth
11:176de Now  Both 
12:17Peri de Now about brothersBothFollowing
15:18de NowbrothersFollowingFollowing
16:19Peri de Now about  FollowingBoth
16:1210Peri de Now about  BothPreceding
16:13Con       

 

Finally, Table 9 shows a summary of beginning words for paragraph breaks on the major and intermediate levels. It is worth noting that de is the overwhelming conjunction of choice for beginning major paragraphs. This is similar to the result that Levinsohn found in analyzing conjunctions in the book of Acts, where he found that de was used to connect major segments that he labeled development units (1987, 83-96). The word gar 'for' signaling an explanation to follow is second with six usages. It is also significant that 27 (41%) major paragraphs begin without any conjunction, while only 2 (7%) intermediate paragraphs show no conjunction at the beginning.

TABLE 9

INTRODUCTORY WORDS FOR ORTHOGRAPHIC PARAGRAPHS
IN I CORINTHIANS

 Introductory Word  Major Paragraphs  Intermediate Paragraphs 
none272
alla/all' but 21
gar for62
de/peri de now229
dio therefore-1
dioper therefore 1-
ean if21
ei if33
eite if-1
h or-1
hdh already11
kaqaper just as1-
kai/kagw and (I)32
nun/nuni now12
oun therefore-3
outwV thus11
ti what/why11
wV as21
wste therefore22
Note: Paragraphs that begin with more than one conjunction are counted more than once in the above table.

Not too much should be made of the fact that two words are used to begin major paragraphs but not intermediate paragraphs. This may only mean that they are not used often enough in this text to occur in this role. The four words that begin intermediate paragraphs but not major paragraphs are more significant. It is also possible here that this lack is due to a rarity of usage. However, the concepts of consequence (dio and ouv 'therefore') and alternative (h 'or') which three of the words embody suggest subordinate ideas to follow and are thus perhaps to be expected on an intermediate level. At any rate, it is noteworthy that oun 'therefore' begins three intermediate paragraphs but no major paragraphs.

Advantages of Constituent Structure Analysis

The study of orthographic paragraphs, while useful, can only take the discourse analyst so far into the discourse. Generally such paragraphs are the result of intuitive guesses by editors and translators rather than being based on any kind of structural analysis. To really examine the paragraph structure in depth, one must turn to a study of the relationships between recursively embedded paragraphs. Louw has noted, "in general any total discourse that is longer than one paragraph must obviously be analyzed primarily in terms of the relationships between the constituent paragraphs" (1982, 98).

There are many ways to analyze these relationships in a text from a particle perspective. But constituent structure analysis has certain advantages over other methods of analysis. First, it focuses the analysis on role, the basic relationship between higher level units. The analyst is forced to identify the role that each unit plays in the discourse and the primary unit to which it is related. Second, it shows clearly the level of embedding of each unit in the discourse. An outline also shows level of embedding, but the embedding is based on topics and subtopics rather than on the relationships between units. Constituent structure analysis, on the other hand, focuses on the grammatical hierarchy as well as the conceptual. Third, it takes into account the texttype and structural characteristics of the units (such as parallelism, question forms, and cyclical and chiastic presentations) under investigation. Fourth, it charts enough variables so as to allow the analyst to categorize types of paragraphs by kind of branching, level of embedding, and texttype. And finally, it allows the analyst to relate the results to a salience level chart and formulate a theory of verb ranking for a given text. When enough texts have been analyzed, this permits the analyst to formulate theories of salience levels and verb ranking for different texttypes and even genrés.

Constituent Paragraph Structure

Now relationships between paragraphs are not always overtly marked. Rather they are often inherent only in the meaning of the paragraphs. For this reason Young, Becker, and Pike speak of a generalized plot as "a sequence of semantic slots" (1970, 319). On a lower level, paragraphs also may be said to exhibit plots (Young, Becker, and Pike 1970, 320). These plots are often marked on the surface structure of a text by what may be called plot cues. Plot cues are words and phrases which "indicate the relationship of one linguistic unit to another within a specific, or surface, plot" (Young, Becker, and Pike 1970, 322). Now since the term plot is usually reserved for narrative texttype, it is perhaps better to refer to these overt markers as relational cues. If paragraph B is an instance of paragraph A, it may well begin with a relational cue such as for example or for instance. If paragraph B contains a cause for paragraph A or a reason for it, the relational cues because, since, therefore, or consequently may be found in the text (Young, Becker, and Pike 1970, 322).

But even where such overt markers do not exist, the semantic relationships between paragraphs which they signify do. In commenting on a Beekman-Callow relational structure tree diagram of I John, Miehle has noted, "Even on the lower levels of structure, I have been prompted more by the semantic rather than the grammatical structure" (1981, 105). This is where Pike's four-celled tagmeme defined in the first chapter of this study becomes a useful tool. The third cell is that of role, an acknowledgement that grammar is more than syntax; it contains an element of semantics even within its structure.

For example, in Greek the category voice is used to distinguish active, middle, and passive. These categories do not just refer to structural forms, but to semantic relationships within the sentences within which they are used. Now even when the structure of the middle and passive are the same, the relationships signified by the middle and the passive are quite different. Further, these relationships are grammatical, not merely conceptual. There is a significant semantic difference, but not an ultimate conceptual difference, between "The key turned in the lock," and "The key was turned in the lock." In both, the speaker and listener may conceptualize a person turning the key, even though neither sentence specifies such. The semantic difference is entirely due to the grammar, not to the conceptual picture drawn by word choice. Pike's inclusion of role in the grammatical tagmeme allows this semantic element to be presented as an integral part of grammar, thus emphasizing his idea that units should be treated as form-meaning composites (1982, 111-113).

Longacre has taken this concept a step further by analyzing two-celled paragraph tagmemes with what can be taken as Role:Class instead of the traditional Slot:Class. This is consistent with the two-celled tagmeme since originally both were combined (e.g., Slot could be filled by subject-as-actor, where actor is a Role; Pike 1982, 77). Role seems to be more significant in determining relationship than slot does. Longacre has given a fairly detailed treatment of this method of analysis (1970; 1980). It is well illustrated for a biblical text in his analysis of I John (1983a) and in the fourth chapter of his book Joseph (1989a, 83-118), an analysis of the Hebrew text of Genesis 37 and 39-48.

Several of the different types of paragraphs which have been identified to date based on role are listed in Table 10. The terminology in the table is generally that of Longacre, who labels the head or nucleus of the paragraph the thesis, although at one time he used the term text for some units (1989a, 83-118). Also following Longacre (1989b, 450-458), his earlier terminology for constituent elements of the sequence paragraph has been changed here from Build-up (BU) to Sequential Thesis (SeqT). The term build-up applies best to narrative material before the climax, but even in this material an item in the sequence may not build up the storyline. In the same way, the coordinate paragraph is sometimes analyzed as two items rather than two theses (Longacre 1989a, 116). Amplification and clarification paragraphs are similar, but the former merely gives additional information, while the latter does so in order to make the thesis clear. Clendendon (1989, 131) has labeled the evidence paragraph the attestation paragraph. But the terminology followed here is current and understandable.

Most of the entries in Table 10 are listed as right branching paragraphs, that is, paragraphs in which the thesis comes first. The exceptions are the condition paragraph and the quote paragraph, both of which are left branching, that is, paragraphs in which the thesis comes last. These are the normal (unmarked) ordering for these paragraphs, but it is possible for paragraph types which are normally right branching to be left branching and vice versa. There are three other possibilities listed in Table 10. Although it may have an introduction as a left branch, the simple paragraph is often without such a branch, having only a head or nucleus. Next, the coordinate paragraph, the dialogue paragraph, and the simultaneous paragraph are usually double headed, although they may be multiple headed. Finally, the sequence paragraph is usually multiple headed.

In addition, paragraphs can be categorized according to structural features such as the ones illustrated in (29) through (36). Following Longacre's terminology, the question-answer paragraph can be called rhetorical question-answer or simply rhetorical for short, the question-command paragraph called rhetorical command, the chiastic paragraph called chiastic, and the parallel paragraph called parallel (1979b, 131). When paragraphs have rhetorical and rhetorical command structure, they often become left branching. Longacre also has identified running quote and cyclic paragraphs as further examples of what he calls stylistic types (1979b, 131). A paragraph can thus be identified by a combination of its stylistic structural type, its branching direction, its texttype, and its basic role relationship as listed in Table 10.

Illustrations of this method of analysis are given in Tables 11 (for I Cor. 1:10-17), 12 (for I Cor. 2:6-16), 13 (for I Cor. 3:10-15), 14 (for I Cor. 6:12-20), and 15 (for I Cor. 10:23-11:1). All of these are major paragraphs according to the study of orthographic paragraphs done above.

TABLE 10

TYPES OF PARAGRAPHS BASED ON ROLE


Type Constituents
Alternative Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Alternative Amplification Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Amplification Antithetical Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Antithesis Clarification Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Clarification Comment Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Comment Condition Paragraph (Intro.) + Condition + Thesis Coordinate Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis1 + Thesis2 Dialogue Paragraph Initiation + (Continuation) + Response Evidence Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Evidence Generalization Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Generalization Illustration Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Illustration Motivation Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Motivation Paraphrase Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Paraphrase Quote Paragraph (Intro.) + Quote Formula + Quote Reason Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Reason Result Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Result Sequence Paragraph (Setting) + SeqT1 + SeqT2 + SeqTn Simple Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis Simultaneous Paragraph (Intro.) + Thesis + Simul. Thesis
This table was derived in part from Longacre 1989a, 83-118 and Clendendon 1989, 131. Optional constituents are listed in parentheses. SeqT is an abbreviation for Sequential Thesis.

But this method of analysis provides a much clearer picture about the relationships, the level of embedding, and even the boundaries between paragraphs than a study of orthographic paragraphs does. For example, Table 6 shows minor paragraphs beginning at 2:10 and 2:14; however, Table 12 shows that 2:10 is actually a place where a series of right branching paragraphs ends and the relationship returns to a higher level paragraph. In the same way, 2:14 is the second half of an antithetical paragraph, and the contrast has proven a good place to mark an orthographical paragraph. The analysis also shows that 2:10b is not a ideal place to mark an orthographic paragraph (as the NIV and NEB have done) because to do so obscures the relationships.

The sample sections analyzed in Tables 11-15 have been chosen to give a cross-section of material from different texttypes. Table 11 shows a combination of texttypes, Table 12 shows a text of primarily persuasive texttype, Table 13 has a text of mostly expository texttype, and Tables 14 and 15 are mainly hortatory texttype. The assignment of texttype here is arbitrary, based upon an intuitive assessment of purpose. A charting of texttype by this writer is shown in Appendix A. The sections analyzed have also been chosen from material which is non-peak in nature, so that any shift in grammatical markers due to peak will not be a factor. Peak will be discussed further in the next chapter of this study.

TABLE 11

CONSTITUENT DISPLAY OF I CORINTHIANS 1:10-17
MIXED TEXTTYPES


POINT 1:(H) Motivation ¶ THESIS:(H) Reason ¶ THESIS: 10 Now I appeal to you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same viewpoint. REASON:(E) Amplification ¶ THESIS: 11 For it has been indicated to me about you, my brothers, by the household of Chloe that there is strife among you. AMPLIFICATION: 12 This is what I am saying, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ." MOTIVATION:(P) Comment ¶ THESIS:(P) Coordinate ¶ THESIS1 : 13 Has Christ been divided? THESIS2 : Paul was not crucified for you, was he? THESISn : Or were you baptized into the name of Paul? COMMENT:(P) Reason ¶ THESIS:(P) Clarification ¶ THESIS: 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius; 15 lest anyone should say that you were baptized into my name. CLARIFICATION:(N) Antithetical ¶ THESIS: 16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. ANTITHESIS: For the rest, I do not know whether I baptized any other one. REASON: 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not in wisdom of word, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Key: E=Expository; H=Hortatory; N=Narrative; P=Persuasive

TABLE 12

CONSTITUENT DISPLAY OF I CORINTHIANS 2:6-16
PERSUASIVE TEXTTYPE


POINT X:(P) Amplification ¶ THESIS: 6 But we do speak wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are being done away with. AMPLIFICATION:(P) Amplification ¶ THESIS:(P) Reason ¶ THESIS: 7 But we speak the hidden wisdom of God in a mystery, which God predestined before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age understood; REASON:(P) Evidence ¶ THESIS: for if they understood, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. EVIDENCE: 9 But, just as it is written, "What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and has not entered in the heart of man, which God has prepared for those who love him." AMPLIFICATION:(P) Amplification ¶ THESIS:(P) Clarification ¶ THESIS: 10 But to us God has revealed [them] through the Spirit. CLARIFICATION:(P) Amplification ¶ THESIS: For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. AMPLIFICATION:Rhetor. (P) Evidence ¶ EVIDENCE: 11 For what man knows the [thoughts] of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? THESIS: So also no one understands the [thoughts] of God except the Spirit of God. AMPLIFICATION:Chiastic (P) Antithetical ¶ THESIS A1 : 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things freely given us by God. 13 which also we speak not in words taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths in spiritual words. ANTITHESIS B: 14 The soulical man does not accept the [teachings] of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. THESIS A2 :(P) Evidence ¶ THESIS: 15 The spiritual [person] discerns all things, but he himself is discerned by no one. EVIDENCE:(P) Comment ¶ THESIS: 16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord so that he may instruct him?" COMMENT: But we have the mind of Christ.
Key: E=Expository; H=Hortatory; N=Narrative; P=Persuasive Note: The punctuation of 2:7-8 follows the corrected third edition of the UBS Greek New Testament.

TABLE 13

CONSTITUENT DISPLAY OF I CORINTHIANS 3:10-15
PRIMARILY EXPOSITORY TEXTTYPE


POINT X:(P) Illustration ¶ THESIS: verse 5 ILLUSTRATION:(P) Coordinate ¶ THESIS1: verses 6-9 THESIS2: verses 10-15 analyzed below THESIS2:(E) Amplification ¶ THESIS:(E) Comment ¶ THESIS: 10 According to the grace of God given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, but another man is building on [it]. COMMENT:(H) Reason ¶* THESIS: But let each one watch out how he builds on [it]. REASON: 11 For another foundation no one can lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. AMPLIFICATION:(E) Reason ¶ THESIS: 12 Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become apparent, for the Day will make [it] evident; REASON:(E) Amplification ¶ THESIS: because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test each one's work [to see] of what sort it is. AMPLIFICATION:(E) Antithetical ¶ THESIS: 14 If anyone's work which he has builtremains, he will receive a reward. ANTITHESIS: 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but [only] thus, as through fire.
Key: E=Expository; H=Hortatory; N=Narrative; P=Persuasive *This paragraph functions as a hortatory aside.

TABLE 14

CONSTITUENT DISPLAY OF I CORINTHIANS 6:12-20
HORTATORY TEXTTYPE


POINT N:(H) Reason ¶ REASON:(H) Antithetical ¶ INTRODUCTION:(H) Coordinate ¶ THESIS1: 12 All things are permissible for me, but not all things are expedient. THESIS2:All things are permissible for me, but I will not be brought under authority by anything. ANTITHESIS:(H) Antithetical ¶ THESIS: 13 Food for the stomach and the stomach for food ANTITHESIS: but God will do away with both this and that. THESIS:(H) Comment ¶ THESIS: But the body is not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. COMMENT: 14 And God both raised the Lord and will raise us up through his power. THESIS:(H) Motivation ¶ MOTIVATION:(H) Result ¶ THESIS: 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? RESULT:Rhetorical (H) Clarification ¶ THESIS: Shall I take therefore the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? CLARIFICATION:(H) Reason ¶ THESIS: Definitely Not! REASON:(H) Antithetical ¶ THESIS:(H) Evidence ¶ THESIS: 16 Or do you not know that the one joined to a prostitute is one body with her? EVIDENCE:For it says, "The two shall be one flesh." ANTITHESIS: 17 But the one joined to the Lord is one spirit [with him]. THESIS:(H) Motivation ¶ THESIS:(H) Reason ¶ THESIS: 18 Flee fornication. REASON: Every sin which a man does is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against his own body. MOTIVATION:(H) Result ¶ THESIS:Rhetorical (H) Amplification ¶ AMPLIFICATION: 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and you are not your own? THESIS: 20 For you were bought with a price. RESULT: So glorify God in your body.
Key: E=Expository; H=Hortatory; N=Narrative; P=Persuasive

 

TABLE 15

CONSTITUENT DISPLAY OF I CORINTHIANS 10:23-11:1
HORTATORY TEXTTYPE


POINT N:(H) Generalization ¶ INTRODUCTION:(H) Coordinate ¶ THESIS1: 23 All things are permissible, but not all things are expedient. THESIS2:All things are permissible, but not all things build up. GENERALIZATION:Chiastic (H) Coordinate ¶ THESIS A1: 24 Let no one seek his own [good], but the [good] of another. THESIS:(H) Coordinate ¶ THESIS B1: 25 Eat everything sold in the meat market, raising no questions because of conscience.26 For "the earth [is] the Lord's, and its fulness." THESIS B2:(H) Antithetical ¶ THESIS: 27 If any of the unbelievers invites you [to dinner] and you wish to go, eat everything set before you, raising no questions because of conscience. ANTITHESIS:(H) Reason ¶ THESIS: 28 But if someone says to you, "This is a sacred sacrifice," do not eat because of that one who informed [you], and conscience29 but I mean not your conscience but that one's. REASON:(H) Coordinate ¶ THESIS1: For why is my liberty determined by another's conscience? THESIS2: 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered because of that for which I give thanks? THESIS A2:(H) Comment ¶ THESIS:(H) Amplification ¶ THESIS: 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things to the glory of God. AMPLIFICATION: 32 Do not be a stumbling- block either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also try to please everyone in everything, not seeking my [own] benefit, but that of many, that they may be saved. COMMENT: 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
Key: E=Expository; H=Hortatory; N=Narrative; P=Persuasive N.B.: THESIS A2 is chiastically coordinate with THESIS A1. Note: The Greek text for Tables 11-15 is found in Appendix B.

The displays in Tables 11-15 are given in a literal English translation by this writer for convenience in reading, but the analysis is based upon the Greek text, as shown in Appendix B. In one case (2:7-8 in Table 12) the punctuation of the corrected third edition of the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament has been followed for the relative clause rather than that of the original third edition.

There are no examples of procedural texttype in the book of I Corinthians and very few stretches of narrative texttype. For this reason, no section of these texttypes has been analyzed. The book in general is hortatory, but it contains extensive sections of persuasive and expository texttype. Youngman has rightly noted, "expository material is an integral part of all but perhaps the most simple hortatory text; it may even form the major part of what is overall a hortatory text" (1987, 115). Persuasive and hortatory text differ from expository in the larger amounts of motivational material which they include. They differ from one another primarily in that hortatory text is trying to effect action in the reader, while persuasive text is trying to effect a change in belief and value systems. It is quite possible that in some languages there is no structural difference between these two; however, in Koiné Greek hortatory text differs primarily from persuasive by having imperative verbs (and other mitigated command forms) as its mainline.

Of special interest is the hortatory aside of 3:10b-11 shown in Table 12. This is a parenthetical comment exhorting the reader to be careful in building up the church. Usually a hortatory passage in a hortatory discourse will be on mainline. This microparagraph, however, could be removed without doing harm to Paul's argument that he and Apollos are merely servants and not to be followed themselves.

The major paragraph analyzed in Table 15 comes at the end of the fourth discourse. It is interesting because it is composed of hortatory texttype in a hortatory discourse, but it discusses issues that are related, but not central, to the question at hand. Having argued using four major points that Christians should not go up to an idol's temple to eat, Paul here turns to the related questions of whether Christians were free to eat food sold in the meat-market or served at a friend's house. These issues Paul solves, not by extended argument, but by summary commands. A similar hortatory summary of related issues is found at the end of chapter 14 in the seventh discourse. Having contrasted the spiritual gifts of speaking in tongues and prophecy, he there gives commands designed to regulate speakers with these two gifts, as well as women, in the public assembly. Again, these are related issues, but they are off the central point.

The major paragraph analyzed in Table 15 is also of interest because it shows a chiastic structure in referring to a generalization (argued in detail in I Corinthians 9) used to provide backing for the commands given. The theses labelled A1 and A2 are the two parts of a chiastically coordinate paragraph filling a generalization slot even though they are not consecutive. A fourth level antithetical paragraph also shows chiastic structure in Table 12. The standard display developed by Longacre has been modified to include the labels A and B to show the chiasm in these cases.

This modification to the method made necessary by the chiasmus here points up a major limitation in analyzing a text in this way. The method is primarily geared toward analyzing texts which are linearly organized, although it is capable of being modified in this way to bring out the relationships of non-linear text. For a text that is heavily non-linear (that is, where related paragraphs on the same level are not situated next to one another), another method of analysis which shows field structures rather than particle structures would be preferable. This is discussed below.

A second limitation of constituent structure analysis is the lack of focus on topic and change of topic. These are variables which must be considered in any analysis of a discourse. To be sure, topic is not ignored using this method; it is handled in the macrosegmentation or gross chunking segment of the analysis. But these techniques focus on major topics and tend to ignore subtopics that may occur at lower paragraph levels.

There are other limitations of this method of analysis which must be noted. Sometimes two different paragraphs have different relationships to a third paragraph (or colon) because they are related to different clauses within that paragraph. For example, in Table 11 the parenthetical statement in 1:16 serves as a clarification of the statement in 1:14 (apart from 1:15); the colon in 1:17 also relates to 1:14 (and to 1:15 as well) by giving a reason for Paul's thankfulness, but it would be a mistake to separate verses 14 and 15 in this relationship. The display as currently constructed does not allow this information to be shown. It depicts paragraphs as being related to other paragraphs and sentences (colons in the case of Greek), not to clauses, but the actual relationship can be on the clause level (cf. Longacre 1968, 53-191 passim for an earlier type of display that allows some clause relationships to be shown).

In the same way, sometimes there are additional relationships on a clause level which this method does not illuminate. A paragraph may be primarily related to another paragraph while also secondarily related in a different way to a clause within that paragraph. For example, in Table 12 the first part of verse 10 is primarily the thesis of an amplification on verse 7 about the secret and hidden wisdom of God. But there also exists a contrast between verse 10 (those to whom this wisdom has been revealed) and the relative clause in verse 8 (the rulers of this age who did not understand). Many texts are more complicated than what any linear method of analysis can show.

A final limitation of this methodology is the potential danger of misusing it by trying to analyze the paragraph relationships based solely on the words and phrases which Young, Becker, and Pike have labeled plot cues. Usually such relational cues serve to tie a colon or paragraph with the previous colon or paragraph. But the role relationship may be with a colon or paragraph that is some distance away.

Because the relational cues can point to more than one kind of relationship and because the relationship may not be with the immediately preceding colon, it is possible to misanalyze a text using constituent structure analysis. For example, 1:18 begins with the word gar 'for', which usually signals either reason or elaboration (i.e., amplification). But it would be a mistake to see 1:18 as simply an elaboration on the cross of Christ mentioned in verse 17; rather, it is the beginning of a new major paragraph on the wisdom of God. The word gar 'for' here is transitional; it is a relational cue, but one that relates major sections of the first discourse, not merely sentences or minor paragraphs within those sections.

Further, it would also be a mistake to focus on the initial main clauses of 1:17-18 and take gar 'for' as indicating a reason relationship, thus resulting in the analysis illustrated in (37).


(37) THESIS: Christ did not send me to baptize . . . .       (1:17)

     REASON: For the word of the cross is foolishness        (1:18)
               to those who are perishing . . . .

The resulting enthemyme by the great evangelist Paul about the futility of trying to baptize people because the lost will not listen is not only theologically unsound, but also it misses the major transitional idea that there should be no church division because such behavior is based on man's wisdom instead of God's. The discourse analyst must look at the actual relationships between whole paragraphs, not just at the transitional words and not just at main clauses. This method allows the actual relationships to be disclosed, but the analyst must be careful to avoid taking a shortcut.

But in spite of these limitations, the analysis of constituent structures into displays such as those in Tables 11 through 15 is one of the best tools which the discourse analyst has for identifying the relationships between paragraphs in the text. It is superior to the mere marking and ranking of orthographic paragraphs, although that is also useful to a limited extent. But the analyzing of constituent structures, when used with due regard for its limitations, can be used to proceed to two other steps of analysis: 1) the classification and ranking of types of paragraphs and 2) the ranking of verbs as predictors of paragraph levels.

The first of these additional steps is illustrated in Table 16. Here the level of embedding for each type of paragraph has been listed for each different texttype. This table only gives information for forty-six verses of I Corinthians and thus cannot be considered final. But the analysis of even this limited amount of data does illustrate the methodology used to investigate the primary levels of each type of paragraph and the types of paragraphs found in each type of discourse.

Further, the table allows the analyst to draw tentative conclusions about the embedded levels and branching characteristics of various types of paragraphs. Table 16 shows that there are certain types of paragraphs, such as reason, amplification, coordinate, and antithetical, which occur across a wide range of embedding levels. Other types, such as generalization and illustration, occur only at high levels in the verses under study. And still other types, such as evidence and clarification, occur only at the fourth level and below. The verses in question show a maximum of seven levels of recursively embedded paragraphs.

These verses also show a strong predominance of right branching paragraphs. Among the persuasive, expository, and narrative paragraphs, the only left branching paragraph is the rhetorical structured paragraph, which is often characterized by left branching.

TABLE 16

PARAGRAPH TYPE, EMBEDDING LEVEL AND TEXTTYPE


Type Hortatory | Persuasive | Expository | Narrative
Reason 1st L 3rd R (bis) 4th R 2nd R 4th R (bis) 5th R (bis) Amplification 3rd R 1st R 3rd R (bis) 5th L 2nd R 5th R 3rd R 5th R Motivation 1st R 2nd L 3rd R Generalization 1st X Illustration 1st R Comment 2nd R 2nd R 4th R 3rd R 6th R Coordinate 2nd D(tris) 3rd D 2nd D 3rd D 5th D Antithetical 2nd L 4th R 6th R 5th R 3rd R (bis) 6th R Result 3rd R 4th R Evidence 7th R 4th R 5th R 6th L Clarification 4th R 4th R (bis)
Key: D=Double Headed; L=Left Branching; R=Right Branching X=Chiastic Note: The highest level of embedding for each type paragraph is in bold print.

But the hortatory paragraphs show evidence of left branching at higher levels for reason, motivation, and antithetical paragraph types. This seems to indicate the presence of an inductive argument style in which the reasons, motivational material, and contrastive elements are presented before the actual point of the paragraph is revealed. Further study is needed before these generalizations can be considered valid for a wider range of text.

Verb Ranking and Salience Levels in Greek Hortatory Text

The second kind of analysis that can be abstracted from a study of constituent structures is that of verb ranking for a particular kind of texttype. Longacre (1989a, 64-82; 1989b, 413-460) has done extensive work in relating different verb types to levels of importance in narrative texttype. Two hypotheses underlie this work. First, "it is assumed here that for any language each type of text has a main line of development and contains other materials which can be conceived of as encoding progressive degrees of departure from the main line" (Longacre 1989b, 414). Second, "within local spans of text an intersentential analysis can be carried out so that the sentences whose main verb(s)/clause(s) are of highest rank are structurally dominant in the local span and those of lower rank are structurally ancillary" (Longacre 1989b, 415).

For hortatory texttype, this would mean that verbs which encode commands, prohibitions, appeals, and other primarily hortatory material would signal the main line or command line of the hortatory text. There are also commands which have been mitigated, that is, put in a form that would make them more socially acceptable. When mitigation is taken into account, several different forms of verbs become a part of the command line (cf. Longacre 1983a, 3-43 passim, but especially 9). In her analysis of I John, Miehle (1981, 156) lists several different degrees of command mitigation as shown in (38).


(38) 1. overt imperative (both 2nd and 3rd person)
     2. entolh 'command' + ina 'that' clause
     3. ina 'so that' clause
     4. ofeilw 'ought'
     5. generic + participle [with wV 'as' or paV 'all' and the subjunctive]
     6. participle
     7. ean/otan 'if/whenever' + clause

To this list can be added in a fairly high position the form parakalw 'I appeal' plus a ina 'that' clause, since the first discourse begins in 1:10 with this form. These hortatory forms are the primary source of macrostructure material for a hortatory text.

However, it is not just verb forms that mark different levels of salience for different types of material. The rhetorical question is a marker of motivational paragraphs in the hortatory samples analyzed here. Most of the questions in I Corinthians are rhetorical questions (Burquest and Christian 1982, 5-39). Three of the four questions in the sample analyzed begin with the clause "Do you not know . . . ." This occurs nine times in I Corinthians (Burquest and Christian 1982, 9), but it is by no means the standard way to introduce a rhetorical question. An analyst might be tempted to take the perfect indicative as a marker for motivational text since the perfect is found in the three questions with this clause. But it is the question form, not the verb form, which is the significant indicator here. Grammarians agree that the perfect verb oida 'know' used in this form does not have a typical perfect meaning; rather, it is said to be durative (Robertson 1934, 895) with present force (Moulton 1908, 147) or meaning (Turner 1963, 82). Many rhetorical questions exist without this perfect verb form.

A similar claim can be made for the evidence paragraph which is often marked by a direct quotation. The verb form within the quotation is of little consequence in the analysis, since that form is determined by its function within its original context rather than its present function.

Table 17 gives the results of ordering the verb form and other salience information for the sample passages analyzed in Tables 11 through 15. The bands in Table 17 are arranged to roughly correspond with the paragraph levels within which information is found. Some of the information types, such as explanation and condition, are more usually embedded within subordinate clauses of high level paragraphs than within lower level paragraphs. This accounts for their rather high level within the table.

Now not all grammatical forms are mutually exclusive when assigned to paragraph types. Present indicative verbs are found in both band 2 and band 3. In addition present indicative verbs may also be found in motivational and evidence paragraphs, where salience is indicated by something other than verb form. The analysis shows that thesis, antithesis, comment, and generalization paragraphs have no effect on determining salience levels, and so they are omitted from Table 17.

Where a paragraph is recursively embedded within two types of form that are in different bands, its form will be a combination of the two forms if possible, or take the form of the lowest paragraph level if not. For example, Table 14 shows that 6:15b is embedded within motivation and result paragraphs; it shows both rhetorical question and aorist verb tense. But the next verse further embeds a reason paragraph and thus returns to the present indicative form as signifying reason.

TABLE 17

SALIENCE LEVELS FOR HORTATORY TEXTTYPE IN I CORINTHIANS


Band 1 \ Commands \ Present Imperative Prohibitions \ mh 'not' + Present Imperative Appeals \ parakalw 'I appeal' + ina 'that' + Present \ Subjunctive
Band 2 \ Condition \ Present Indicative Explanation \ Introduction \
Band 3 \ Reason \ Present Indicative, \ Future Indicative, No Verb
Band 4 \ Motivation \ Rhetorical Question
Band 5 \ Purpose \ Aorist Result \
Band 6 \ Evidence from Authority \ Quotation \

The results obtained in Table 17 are valid for the passages analyzed in Tables 11 through 15. No claim is here made that a salience level chart for additional data would remain exactly the same. In fact, additional analysis would most likely further complicate the chart, adding new levels and exceptions to the rules. But besides providing a tentative salience level chart for hortatory texttype, the analysis given here demonstrates both the method of determining salience levels and its general validity. It further demonstrates that the techniques that Longacre (1989b) and others have shown to be productive in discovering salience levels for narrative texttype can be used in the same way on non-narrative texts.

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