My eldest son sees
but I read.
He processes in three dimensions
but chokes on dragon's teeth.
I elaborate with letters
but put all mechanical things together backwards.
Yet I can learn from a diagram. Here's one expressing the continuum from apposition to hypotaxis. What's that? you ask. I don't know yet, but here it is.
Now about all those other words that we use to describe textual art, I think I am seeing two global structures as I intimated in my last two notes: the container external structure and the contained inner structure. The containers seem more useful for carrying around the text by description. The inner structures seem more useful for discovering meaning. I am not a professional linguist, so most of the terminology is new to me.
First about inner structure: parallelism qualifies, as does the continuum of apposition above. Apposition is a category of parallelism. I have not yet seen a perfect taxonomy of types of parallelism. Another inner structure is repetition of a word or set of words. Repetition of two words in reverse order is named after the letter Chi. The rhetorical technique of parallelism combined with chiasm can disambiguate meaning. An example is Isaiah 40:
ג קוֹל קוֹרֵא--בַּמִּדְבָּ פַּנּוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְהוָה יַשְּׁרוּ בָּעֲרָבָה מְסִלָּה לֵאלֹהֵינוּ.
a voice cries in the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD
make plain in the desert a highway for our God.
The first phrase is ambiguous - is the voice in the wilderness or is it the way of the LORD that is to be prepared in the wilderness? The parallel phrase makes the meaning clear.
a voice cries
in the wilderness
in the desert ...
Whether this is prose or poetry or could be described as a verset or colon or stich or whatever, this structure sets up the intention of the words. The communication of meaning is the purpose. I am beginning to think that the containing structure, in contrast, is there for assisting hearing and memorization rather than directly contributing to meaning. As such it has a complementary usage. Well designed containers are also coherent: relating to one aspect or object. (How useful being trained in software is sometimes.)
Being either foolish or brave, let's try and decide what the prosodic structure is for this verse.
If this is poetry and I was to follow the general rule (the rule of 2 or 3), I would have to divide it as above.
a voice cries
in the wilderness prepare
the way of the LORD
make plain in the desert
a highway for our God
In just using text, not a diagram, I am reducing my scope for painting to html in a limited and defective editor. But for a short line we can still see clearly an internal structure to the word units:
where the apostrophe indicates the same concept in this case in a synonym. I am not ready to name these pieces. Maybe in the next note after more study and examples.
Source for these musings is from John Hobbin's Glossary and the article on Poetic Structure - both requiring more than one day's reflection. (I admit to reading them two or three times this year, but they went in one eye and out the other.)