A call to covenant love: Text grammar and literary structure in Deuteronomy 5-11
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SubjectBible.--O.T.--Deuteronomy V-XI--Criticism, Textual.
Bible.--O.T.--Deuteronomy V-XI--Language, style.
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In contrast to past stylistic approaches to Deuteronomy 5-11, this study applies a textlinguistic approach to discern literary structure and agenda. Chapter 1 summarizes a number of contemporary literary studies devoted to Deuteronomy 5-11, noting the tendency toward stylistic analysis that gives little thought to the formal, macrosyntactic features of a text's surface structure. Chapter 2 provides a theoretical framework for the study, clarifying the theory behind discourse analysis, arguing that Deuteronomy is prosaic behavioral address, and delimiting the boundaries for text investigation. Chapter 3 describes the database and linguistic framework that guides the rest of the study. It highlights how various communicative constraints govern the form certain linguistic features take in a text's surface structure. It also explains domain and text type analysis and introduces the model of semantic relationships applied later in the study. Chapter 4 provides an examination of text grammar in Deuteronomy 5-11, moving from farm to semantic meaning to discourse function, and not vice versa. Each of the four main sections are devoted to one of the main communicative constraints that control the structural shape of a biblical text: text logic, foregraunding, participant reference, and lexical structuring. Text logic governs clause connection, through which clauses link into text blocks (i.e., paragraphs) and primary material is distinguished from embedded material. Foregrounding controls verb form and clause class, which together demarcate the mainline of text structure within the given text blocks. Participant reference governs the use of explicit subjects, which contributes to textual coherence and cohesion. Lexical structuring governs the application of lexical discourse markers, which help to guide the flow of thought in a text. Chapter 5 employs the textlinguistic principles set forth in chapter 4 in a macrostructural and theological overview of Deuteronomy 5-11. The result is that the corpus is shown to be both coherent and cohesive in the form it comes to us, and textlinguistics is proved an invaluable and indispensable tool in biblical interpretation.