Thursday, December 11, 2008

Separating Force - Emphasis

It's about all these translations and why or how various parts get separated into cola, verses, strophes, or even larger units - paragraphs, canticles, stanzas... I know John Hobbins has a paper (several) e.g. here some of which I have read or referenced e.g. here sometime last year. His rule of thumb is groups of 2 or 3 at every level of structure. I have come across the 1998 work of Korpel and de Moor, The Structure of Classical Hebrew Poetry Isaiah 40-55, a random choice from the shelves of the Divinity Library at Cambridge in the few hours I have.

They have a different introduction to the manuscript evidence of markers for the separation of larger units of poetry. In the middle of their introduction comes this paragraph (
Separating force: Emphasis

... (ref O'connor)... the deliberate changing of the syntactic order of words common in normal prose appears to be an important structuring force on the level of the strophe ... it is our contention that the changing of word order often has no other function than to mark the boundaries of strophes. So we shall incorporate the following markers of separation in our analysis of the strophic delimitation:

deictic particle(s)interrogative pronounrepetitive verse-line parallelism
demonstrative pronounjussive(s)swapping (subject)
imperative(s)marker of direct speechswapping (object)
independent personal pronounparonomasiaswapping (adjunct) vocative

I find myself wondering what this table means. It is formatted exactly this way without heading or textual emphasis. So I put it here as a question in the middle of time. Maybe next year I will know enough to understand it better.

No comments: