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Chiasm Question


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I was told years ago by a linguist friend that in some forms of chiasmus, such as perhaps dealing with certain subject matter, a standard flaw or mark was made, which was the element immediately following the pivot was moved and reinserted after two intervening elements. 

Does anyone have any information on this, or could point me a resource to learn about it? Thank you!
 

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18 hours ago, Latter Day Data said:

I was told years ago by a linguist friend that in some forms of chiasmus, such as perhaps dealing with certain subject matter, a standard flaw or mark was made, which was the element immediately following the pivot was moved and reinserted after two intervening elements. ..............................

Sometimes that depends on the size and complexity of the chiasm.  For example, scholars see the entire book of Exodus as ABA chiastic, centering on Mount Sinai (Book of Covenant and Decalogue at center, Ex 20:1-17).  However, the late Yehuda Radday did a more detailed analysis, which was ABCDABC.

A similar problem can be seen in Gen 22:1-19, the Sacrifice of Isaac.  Radday could see it as an overall ABCDCBA.  However, his closer analysis of it as a series of concentric clusters laid it out as ABCDEG/HKL/HKL/ABCDEG, or even more detailed as ABCDEFGHIJKLMA’MHFKLA”BICDJEGM”.  See his discussion in J. Welch, ed., Chiasmus in Antiquity, 106-110, online at https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/mi/22/

Likewise for the following:

Gen 17:9-14   ABCDCEFBCDCEA.; Gen 16:8  ABCBAC ; Gen 11:1-9  ABCDEFGHIJKHGFEDJIBCA (ABCBA); Gen 6:3 - 9:16  ABCDEFGHGFEDBCA.

 

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Sometimes that depends on the size and complexity of the chiasm.  For example, scholars see the entire book of Exodus as ABA chiastic, centering on Mount Sinai (Book of Covenant and Decalogue at center, Ex 20:1-17).  However, the late Yehuda Radday did a more detailed analysis, which was ABCDABC.

A similar problem can be seen in Gen 22:1-19, the Sacrifice of Isaac.  Radday could see it as an overall ABCDCBA.  However, his closer analysis of it as a series of concentric clusters laid it out as ABCDEG/HKL/HKL/ABCDEG, or even more detailed as ABCDEFGHIJKLMA’MHFKLA”BICDJEGM”.  See his discussion in J. Welch, ed., Chiasmus in Antiquity, 106-110.

Likewise for the following:

Gen 17:9-14   ABCDCEFBCDCEA.; Gen 16:8  ABCBAC ; Gen 11:1-9  or ABCDEFGHIJKHGFEDJIBCA (ABCBA); Gen 6:3 - 9:16  ABCDEFGHGFEDBCA.

 

You know a lot more about chiasmus than I do, so I’m glad you responded. Do you happen to have any idea where the linguist I spoke to may have gotten the idea that it was standard, under some circumstances, to move the element which belongs directly after the pivot, to make it appear two places down from where it otherwise would?

In other words, abcdefggedfcba 

Is there maybe a super technical book that lists rules like that, or a comprehensive list of rules for chiasmus?

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10 minutes ago, Calm said:

 

12 minutes ago, Calm said:

That is a great resource, thank you. I stumbled upon that earlier through google, and have been trying to comb through it lol. I am still combing through it, but am hopeful someone might know of other comprehensive resources. 
 

Thank you 🙏 

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2 hours ago, Latter Day Data said:

If it turns out no one knows, that’s okay. I realize my question is not common, and there’s also a chance my friend was simply mistaken. 
 

But if anyone knows anything about, let me know :) thanks! 

There are several different reasons why a chiasm might be flawed.  One notion is that perfection is a curse and must always be deliberately broken, the way a Persian rug weaver will introduce a minor flaw into a design.  Another is that editing and redaction have many competing purposes, not merely the maintenance of an earlier chiastic structure.  As documents are combined and edited, the original oral, poetic structure (including chiasmus) may be damaged.  I don't know of any linguistic law covering that phenomenon.

The largest collection of chiasmus research in the world is located in the BYU Library Special Collections (MSS 3776 series 7, subseries 1 through 13), and is described at https://findingaid.lib.byu.edu/viewItem/MSS 3776/Series 7/, but will be at http://archives.lib.byu.edu/ after April 30, 2020 (in just a few days).  Anyhow, you can search it there, online.  To read or make copies, you must go there in person, or contact John Murphy the Curator.

 

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3 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

There are several different reasons why a chiasm might be flawed.  One notion is that perfection is a curse and must always be deliberately broken, the way a Persian rug weaver will introduce a minor flaw into a design.  Another is that editing and redaction have many competing purposes, not merely the maintenance of an earlier chiastic structure.  As documents are combined and edited, the original oral, poetic structure (including chiasmus) may be damaged.  I don't know of any linguistic law covering that phenomenon.

The largest collection of chiasmus research in the world is located in the BYU Library Special Collections (MSS 3776 series 7, subseries 1 through 13), and is described at https://findingaid.lib.byu.edu/viewItem/MSS 3776/Series 7/, but will be at http://archives.lib.byu.edu/ after April 30, 2020 (in just a few days).  Anyhow, you can search it there, online.  To read or make copies, you must go there in person, or contact John Murphy the Curator.

 

Awesome, thank you! 

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