This monograph on biblical linguistics is a highly specialized, pragmatic investigation of the controversial question of "foregrounding"--the deviation from some norm or convention--in Old Testament narratives. The author presents and examines the two main sources of pragmatic foregrounding: events or states deviating from well-established schemata, structures of reader expectation that can be manipulated by the narrator to highlight specific "chunks" of discourse; and evaluative devices, which are used by the narrator to indicate to the reader the point of the story and direct its interpretation. Cotrozzi critiques the particular evaluative device known as the "historic present," a narrative strategy that employs the present tense to describe past event. He tests two main theories that support this device by using a cross-linguistic model of the historical present drawing upon a variety of languages. Cotrozzi ultimately refutes these theories with a thorough examination and detailed refutation. He concludes with a study of a particular Hebraic verb as a particular marker of represented perception, a technique whereby the character's perceptions are expressed directly from its point of view.
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