Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John C. Crawford


Most of the latest work in understanding Koine Greek questions has concerned itself with taxonomies based on the dichotomy between real and rhetorical questions, as epitomized by John Beekman and John Callow (1974). However, some are now pointing out that other factors, beyond the grasp of this taxonomy, enter into questions within conversations.

In an effort to look at these questions in more depth, this paper applies two analytical models to seven questions in Koine Greek. The first is the illocutionary force model, particularly as formalized by John Searle (1977). The second is the rules of Repartee as formulated by Clay Strom (1979).

The illocutionary force model addresses the intents of the speakers, hidden, obvious, and those in between. Strom's rules of Repartee deal with the logic of conversation, deep structure relations, changes of expectation, and the resolution of conversations.

These models are applied to a data base of seven Koine Greek questions taken from the Gospels of the New Testament. These questions were chosen because they seemed to be strange interrogatives, more hostile than inquisitive.

The applications of the two models to this data base of natural text proves them both to be useful and insightful models Their application also confirms the intuition of most readers that these are indeed very hostile conversations.

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