Parataxis and hypotaxis (was: Enter vs. Type)

Subject: Parataxis and hypotaxis (was: Enter vs. Type)
From: Jonathan Lavigne <jpl -at- LYRA -dot- STANFORD -dot- EDU>
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 1994 21:05:13 GMT

"RJULIUS.US.ORACLE.COM" <RJULIUS -at- us -dot- oracle -dot- com> writes:
>for their intended audience. I had a professor once describe this as
>peritaxis (letting the reader make their own connections so they think about
>what they're doing) vs. hypotaxis (writing everything down so as to leave no

>By the way, I've never seen the terms peritaxis and hypotaxis in a dictionary.
> Has anyone encountered these before? Are they used in some arcane field of
>knowledge? I've seen other words used for this concept, but can't recall what
>they were. Anyone on the list versed in Rhetoric?

Parataxis and hypotaxis are grammatical terms (from the Greek for "arrange
side by side" and "arrange under"). Constructions that subordinate elements
are hypotactic. Those that coordinate elements are paratactic. I guess you
could stretch the meanings to approximate your professor's definitions. A
writer with a "paratactic style" -- say Hemingway, for example -- is apt to
make things seem less connected and organized than a writer with a hypotactic
style -- say Cicero or Samuel Johnson.
Jonathan Lavigne BL -dot- JPL -at- RLG -dot- STANFORD -dot- EDU
Research Libraries Group/Stanford University

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