Stanzaic Syntax in the Madrashe of Ephrem the Syrian, which focuses on
madrāšê V and VI in the Paradise cycle, Paul S. Stevenson looks at Ephrem’s poetic art from the point of view of a linguist. This study goes beyond the traditional levels of analysis, the clause and the sentence, and examines the structure of whole stanzas as units. The result is a surprisingly rich tapestry of syntactic patterning, which can justly be considered the key to Ephrem’s prosody. The driving force behind Ephrem’s poetry turns out not to be meter or sound play, but a variety of syntactic templates, which include even vertical patterning of constituents.
Paul S. Stevenson, Ph.D. (2013), Catholic University of America, is an independent researcher. He brings to Syriac studies a broad background in general linguistics as well as research on Mayan languages and extensive experience in Spanish translation. He has published articles on Syriac verbal semantics.
This book will appeal to all those interested in Syriac poetry and linguistics. It will also prove useful to those engaged in research on Aramaic and other Semitic poetry and discourse linguistics.