The Development of Textlinguistics in the Writings of Robert Longacre

Longacre, Robert E.; Shin Ja J. Hwang, editor

This book 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.

About the Editor

Shin Ja Hwang earned a Ph.D. in the a Humanities with Concentration in Linguistics the University of Texas at Arlington and additional degrees from University of Oklahoma and the Ewha Women’s University, Seoul, South Korea. She has taught graduate courses on discourse analysis, functional grammar, language universals and typology, and sociolinguistics. Presently she is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics since 1999 and an Adjunct Associate Professor at University of Texas at Arlington since 1989. She has also taught at Handong University in South Korea. She has written and edited numerous articles and books in linguistics, as well as edited several volumes. She was a student of Robert Longacre in her MA and PhD studies and has worked with him as a colleague, sometimes team-teaching, co-authoring articles, and serving on thesis and dissertation committees together.

Table of Contents:



1 Why we need a vertical revolution in linguistics

2 A spectrum and profile approach to discourse analysis

3 Two hypotheses regarding text generation and analysis

4 Some interlocking concerns which govern participant reference in narrative

5 The dynamics of reported dialogue in narrative

6 The paragraph as a grammatical unit

7 The discourse structure of the flood narrative

8 Building for the worship of God

9 Genesis as soap opera: Some observations about storytelling in the Hebrew Bible

10 Exhortation and mitigation in First John

11 A top-down, template-driven narrative analysis, illustrated by application to Mark’s gospel

12 Mark 5.1-43: Generating the complexity of a narrative from its most basic elements

13 The discourse strategy of an appeals letter

14 Holistic Textlinguistics

15 Some hermeneutic observations on textlinguistics and text theory in the humanities

Retail Price:
xx, 423 pages
Discourse analysis
ISBN 13:
ISBN 10:
6 × 9 × 0.9 in
1.6 lb
Content Language: