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 (www.logos.com/ldgnt). The screen shots in the grammar and paper are drawn from this analysis.