By Paul S Stevenson

In Stanzaic Syntax within the Madrashe of Ephrem the Syrian, which specializes in madrāšê V and VI within the Paradise cycle, Paul S. Stevenson appears to be like at Ephrem’s poetic artwork from the viewpoint of a linguist. This examine is going past the normal degrees of research, the clause and the sentence, and examines the constitution of entire stanzas as devices. the result's an incredibly wealthy tapestry of syntactic patterning, which may justly be thought of the most important to Ephrem’s prosody. the motive force at the back of Ephrem’s poetry seems to not be meter or sound play, yet various syntactic templates, which come with even vertical patterning of ingredients.

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Robert E. Longacre, Hierarchy and universality of discourse constituents in New Guinea languages: Vol. 1, Discussion; Vol. 2, Texts (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1972). Longacre, Robert E. and Frances M. , Discourse grammar: Studies in indigenous languages of Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador, 3 vols. (Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics and the University of Texas at Arlington, 1976). Linda K. , Robert E. Longacre, project director, Discourse studies in Mesoamerican languages, Vol.

A small number of gifted people such as Aristotle are able to consciously articulate their ideas about grammar and rhetoric. We have no indication that anyone before or during Ephrem’s lifetime wrote anything like a manual of rhetoric or poetics for Syriac,54 though people in the area who were highly educated in 52 53 54 Throughout his broad study, Rodrigues Pereira documents such phenomena not only in Ephrem’s work, but in that of many other poems in Aramaic throughout the centuries. Similar observations have been made about the Hebrew poetry of the Bible.

Syntactic devices are structures that I believe Ephrem consciously used in a variety of creative ways, patterns of words that he deliberately employed for esthetic and rhetorical effect. I cannot, of course, read Ephrem’s mind, so I deduce his deliberate activity from the clear patterns found throughout his writing. As I have studied these phenomena in the two madrāšê covered in this book, as well as in the hymns on fasting,89 strong tendencies of one kind or another have emerged. Ephrem’s general practice seems to have been to decide on the emotional response he wanted a particular madrāšâ to evoke in its hearers, and then to construct the stanzas of the madrāšâ using a selection of the many devices at his disposal.

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