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Dec 4 / Steve Runge

SBL paper on left-dislocations

No, this is not about what happens when snowboarding in powder or attempting heroics going down a staircase on a skateboard. This paper describes the discourse function of what are typically called “hanging nominatives” or pendens constructions, on the basis of information structure. The paper was presented to the “Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics” Section at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Boston. My presentation was given from the notes on the PowerPoint slides. If you want the full meal deal with all of the citations and bibliography, the paper is also posted on the publications page.

If you are a synoptic gospels buff, you may really enjoy this paper. As much as possible, I sought to use synoptic differences to illustrate the impact of phrasing the Greek one way versus another, rather than concocting my own synthetic Greek. I plan on tackling the discourse implications of synoptic differences in upcoming posts in the new year. Stay tuned.

I only have one post on information structure, as it is a rather complex area. Studies in this area have created the same kind of confusion that is prevalent in the aspect debates referenced in my last post. There are a number of variables that need to be taken into account when considering information structure, but the paper  and the earlier post should provide a basic introduction and a practical pay off. If you are interested in a longer introduction, including reference to information structuring in English, see my JIABG article on Mark’s explanation of the parable of the Sower.

The paper is excerpted from my forthcoming Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis. The introduction and first chapter of the grammar are available for preview in PDF form here. All of this research is based upon my analysis and annotation of the most exegetically-significant discourse features in the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, published by Logos ( The screen shots in the grammar and paper are drawn from this analysis.


  1. Ben / Dec 9 2008

    Thanks for making your work available. I bought your Discourse NT from Logos, and am trying to learn how to make the most of it.

    Is anyone else having trouble with the links from this page or is it just me? I can get to your articles fine from your main home page, but not from here.

  2. Steve Runge / Dec 9 2008


    Your problems with links are from me knowing so little about HTML. I will go back and check the page, thanks for the heads up.

  3. Ken Litwak / Oct 22 2009

    It is great to have the opportunity to get a sample of your book so I can see what it is really all about but I can’t make the link

    work. Can you give a new URL please? Thanks.


  4. Steve Runge / Oct 22 2009

    Ken, Thanks for the heads up, I have updated the link.

  5. Ken Litwak / Oct 23 2009


    Thanks for solving the first link problem. Now, would you please work on the link for the ABC article, http://http// I can’t get. Thanks.


  6. Steve Runge / Oct 23 2009

    Okay, this post was from about a month after I began blogging, and I had not idea how to proof the links. There was a redundant HTTP causing the problem, now fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.

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