Levinsohn’s discourse analysis materials

SIL’s publishing arm has announced that Stephen Levinsohn has published new, expanded, and official editions of his self-instruction materials for learning narrative and non-narrative discourse analysis.

There is, additionally, a forthcoming 3rd edition of Levinsohn’s Discourse features of New Testament Greek: A coursebook on the information structure of New Testament Greek (Amazon), we will hopefully see published soon.

Self-Instruction Materials on Narrative Discourse Analysis

Language does not consist solely of isolated words or sentences. Many sentences are connected together into longer stretches of discourse. Anyone engaging in the study of a language needs to consider the factors involved in associating sentences together so that the result is a coherent whole. Narrative in particular employs both creative and economic features of the language to maximum effect.

The approach presented in this volume has been used to analyze narratives in more than 500 languages.

Topics include:

  • preparation and charting of texts for analysis
  • factors involved in the ordering of constituents within sentences
  • backgrounding and highlighting devices
  • connectives
  • reporting conversation in narrative
  • participant reference

This self-instruction course will help those who have completed an initial language learning and analysis phase in a language project, are planning to be involved in a Scripture translation project, or are engaged in the study of a language spoken anywhere in the world.

Recommended prerequisites are the completion of a Language Study Skills track of an assignment-related training course, with associated field experience or its equivalent. Students will need an appropriate selection of narrative texts in the language they are studying

Order Narrative discourse analysis on Amazon

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Sil International, Global Publishing (2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 196 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1556714610
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1556714610
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.03 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.5 x 0.42 x 11 inches

Self-Instruction Materials on Non-Narrative Discourse Analysis

Many problems in translation arise because of mismatches between the source and receptor languages. A particularly relevant factor is whether or not the language normally places the verb at the end of the sentence, and whether or not the subject commonly follows the verb. Such potential mismatches are a major discussion in the eight chapters of this course.

Topics include:

  • differences between instruction and persuasion
  • connectives
  • variations in the order of constituents and propositions
  • prominence-giving, backgrounding and highlighting devices
  • relative potency of different forms of exhortation
  • boundary features

The course is designed particularly for those who expect to be involved in the translation of non-narrative texts from one language to another, whether as a mother tongue speaker, other tongue speaker or expatriate translator, consultant or advisor. It will also help anyone engaged in the study of non-narrative texts in any language in the world.

Recommended prerequisites are the completion of a Narrative Discourse Analysis course, with associated field experience or its equivalent. Students will need a selection of non-narrative texts in the language they are studying.

Order Non-narrative discourse analysis on Amazon.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Sil International, Global Publishing (October 28, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 166 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1556714629
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1556714627
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.1 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.5 x 0.35 x 11 inches

About the Author

Stephen H. Levinsohn is a senior linguistics consultant with SIL International. Since 1997 he has run Discourse for Translation workshops in 20 countries for linguist-translators working with over 400 languages, and continues to provide consultant help by email.