Chiasm

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Daniel Watts
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Chiasm

Post by Daniel Watts » July 22nd, 2013, 10:12 am

I was just reading an article that uses a chiasmic structure in Galatians I make an argument (the article was not from a scholar associated with linguistics per se). Was just curious as to how such a structure would be dealt with via discourse analysis.
Should it be considered as a particular form of information structuring like a culture specific way of organising text and talk. what is the pragmatic funtion of an author's choosing to use a chiasm, what is the author attempting to do?
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Chiasm

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 26th, 2013, 8:58 am

If there are any discourse mavens not on summer vacation around here, I wonder if they can address this question.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Chiasm

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » July 26th, 2013, 3:09 pm

Some analysts (e.g., Helma Dik) choose to limit their discussion to constituent order within the clause. Parallelism including chaism can be found at several levels, phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph and so forth. I no longer have a copy of Longacre[1] but I know he discussed this issue. Comparing Helma Dik and S. Levinsohn I notice they agree on one point. The focus constituent in a topic - focus articulation can be in the clause initial[2] or clause final[2] position. This permits reordering of constituents for rhetorical purposes, e.g. parallelism and chaism.

I have noted before that constituent order within the clause is genre specific. The basic pattern type according to Levinsohn (2000:29-47) isn’t the basic pattern according to Helma Dik (Word Order in Greek Tragic Dialogue). My own casual unscientific observations of word order in Attic Tragedy have made me sceptical of both S. Levinsohn and Helma Dik. I think we have a long way to go before we will be able to speak with much confidence on this topic.

[1] R. E. Longacre, The Grammar of Discourse (2d ed., 1996).

[2] These terms are not perfectly transparent. Clause initial does not always mean the very first word in the clause. Levinsohn uses the terms preverbal and end of sentence. This terminology creates problems when the main verb is fronted in Attic Tragedy. End of sentence doesn’t work for Helma Dik since her analysis deals with clauses not sentences.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Chiasm

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » July 26th, 2013, 4:31 pm

To see an example of how chiasm functions above the level of the clause one could read a paper Levinsohn presented in response to a paper by Sang-Hoon Kim, Triple Chiastic Structures in Romans 6. http://www-01.sil.org/~levinsohns/Holis ... omans6.pdf

Kim's analysis of Rom 6:1-11 (as quoted in Levinsohn. I made an attempt to get the underlining right but you will need to read the article for an explanation.)

A (1-2) Τί οὖν ἐροῦμεν; ἐπιμένωμεν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, ἵνα ἡ χάρις πλεονάσῃ;
μὴ γένοιτο. οἵτινες ἀπεθάνομεν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, πῶς ἔτι ζήσομεν ἐν αὐτῇ;

B (3-4) ἢ ἀγνοεῖτε ὅτι, ὅσοι ἐβαπτίσθημεν εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν, εἰς τὸν θάνατον αὐτοῦ ἐβαπτίσθημεν;
συνετάφημεν οὖν αὐτῷ διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος εἰς τὸν θάνατον, ἵνα ὥσπερ ἠγέρθη Χριστὸς ἐκ νεκρῶν
διὰ τῆς δόξης τοῦ πατρός, οὕτως καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς περιπατήσωμεν.

C (5) εἰ γὰρ σύμφυτοι γεγόναμεν τῷ ὁμοιώματι τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως ἐσόμεθα·

X (6) τοῦτο γινώσκοντεςὅτι ὁ παλαιὸς ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος συνεσταυρώθη,
ἵνα καταργηθῇ τὸ σῶμα τῆς ἁμαρτίας, τοῦ μηκέτι δουλεύειν ἡμᾶς τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ·

C'(7-8) ὁ γὰρ ἀποθανὼν δεδικαίωται ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας.
εἰ δὲ ἀπεθάνομεν σὺν Χριστῷ, πιστεύομενὅτι καὶ συζήσομεν αὐτῷ,

B' (9-10) εἰδότες ὅτι Χριστὸς ἐγερθεὶς ἐκ νεκρῶν οὐκέτι ἀποθνῄσκει, θάνατος αὐτοῦ οὐκέτι κυριεύει.
ὃ γὰρ ἀπέθανεν, τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ἀπέθανεν ἐφάπαξ·ὃ δὲ ζῇ, ζῇ τῷ θεῷ.

A' (11) οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς λογίζεσθε ἑαυτοὺς [εἶναι] νεκροὺς μὲν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ζῶντας δὲ τῷ θεῷ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.


I wouldn't even attempt to give a synopsis of Sim's proposal or Levinsohn's response. The article illustrates how one analyst responds to another in regard to chiasm within a paragraph of Romans.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Chiasm

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » July 26th, 2013, 6:12 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:The article illustrates how one analyst responds to another in regard to chiasm within a paragraph of Romans.
Actually very little of this article has to do with chiasm. Most of it talks about γάρ and οὖν. The fact that γάρ clauses frame the center of the chiasm in Rom. 6:5-8 suggests, according to Levinsohn (citing C. L. Westfall), that the center is backgrounded. On the other hand the very center, verse six begins with τοῦτο which "cataphorically, points forward to and highlights its referent" "... "This means that, although 6 is part of a sentence that strengthens the THESIS of 4 and so is backgrounded in relation to 4, its contents are highlighted background information!" I find this a little far fetched. First of all I don't think we can lay down a rule that γάρ always in every case backgrounds the following clause/sentence.[1] Highlighted background might be intended as irony or humor. It is funny.
C (5) εἰ γὰρ σύμφυτοι γεγόναμεν τῷ ὁμοιώματι τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως ἐσόμεθα·

X (6) τοῦτο γινώσκοντεςὅτι ὁ παλαιὸς ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος συνεσταυρώθη,
ἵνα καταργηθῇ τὸ σῶμα τῆς ἁμαρτίας, τοῦ μηκέτι δουλεύειν ἡμᾶς τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ·

C'(7-8) ὁ γὰρ ἀποθανὼν δεδικαίωται ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας.
[1] Jae Hyun Lee, Paul's Gospel in Romans: A Discourse Analysis of Rom. 1:16-8:39, p77 n. 145.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

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