|dc.description.abstract||The aim of this study is to determine inter-subjective, verifiable criteria according to
which paragraphs can be distinguished in BH narrative texts. Distinguishing these units
plays an important role in the understanding and processing of written texts.
Corpus studies in text-linguistics and empirical studies in psycholinguistic studies have
established that narrative is not only characterized by a string of sentences, but has a
multi-dimensional or hierarchical structure, which can be broken down into units. These
units are regarded as episodes, which are cognitively and structurally relevant. An
episode is defined as a memory block. Semantically, it is defined as a thematically
unified entity, the surface boundaries of which are marked linguistically.
On the one hand, text production studies have established that authors employ
segmentation markers or devices at the beginning of each episode in order to warn
the reader that a new episode is impending. On the other hand, studies in text
comprehension have also concluded that readers understand these devices of textual
On the basis of the above investigations, this study established a set of criteria for
identifying episodes. The criteria included several segmentation devices such as
overspecified referential expressions, temporal expressions, and shifts in space that
mark the boundaries of episodes, as well as devices that signal thematic continuity
in narrative episodes of BH. The value and validity of these criteria were then
tested in the light of a specific corpus of texts, viz. 1 Sam 1-6. The text was
analyzed and episodes have been distinguished by means of the above-mentioned
set of criteria. These episodes were then compared to the paragraph distinctions (i.e.
the graphic representations of episodes), which are made in a representative number
of commentaries and translations.
The investigation confirmed that many of the paragraph distinctions in commentaries
and translations are justifiable. However, it was also found that the paragraph
distinctions of exegetes and translators often differ. This finding confirmed the
necessity (and need) of inter-subjectively verifiable, and well-founded, criteria for
distinguishing paragraphs in BH narratives. This exploratory study established the value
of the model used, but also indicated that further investigation is needed to refine
various aspects of the model.||en_ZA