This book, The Development of Textlinguistics in the Writings of Robert Longacre, brings together Robert Longacre's articles on textlinguistics and discourse analysis scattered throughout journals and books. The fifteen articles selected here deal with his theory and its application to Old Testament Biblical Hebrew and New Testament Greek as well as to English. Longacre's theory of textlinguistics focuses on the intersection of the morphosyntax and discourse structure. He studies a language at the level of discourse and at all its possible interfaces with lower levels of grammar from morpheme and word to phrase, clause, sentence, and paragraph. Two important theoretical concepts in his holistic approach, salience scheme and peak in profile, are discussed in relation to normal surface structure grammatical features as well as the off-norm, unusual, peak-marking features.
The theoretical selections include six articles, starting from the need for discourse analysis, to the presentation of basic concepts of textlinguistics based on the two building blocks of language, the VPs and NPs, and to reported dialogue and the paragraph. The nine application articles provide insights into understanding the functions of tense, aspect, and modality, particles, nouns and pronouns, and other features of grammar in distinct types of discourse.
Diverse texts are analyzed in the articles of this volume, such as the Flood Narrative of Genesis, Mark's Gospel, 1 John, a fund-raising letter, and a novel. In the face of historical textual criticism, his scripture analyses show the textual unity of biblical texts leading to better understanding of the content.
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