[b-hebrew] Hebrew grammar, (was Zech 6:8)
crazymulgogi at gmail.com
Mon Nov 28 09:43:37 EST 2005
You are right of course. Shakespeare syntax is known a thousand times better.
This is not really a discussion I feel I have much to say in, in fact,
but for fun try take a look at the syntax of the fake-biblical Hebrew
text Sefer ha-Yashar. It all looks like biblical Hebrew, but for some
reason it just isn't. The only reason it isn't is its syntax.
2005/11/28, Martin Shields <enkidu at bigpond.net.au>:
> >>> We have to be wary of archaisms only in syntax, I think: usually,
> >>> words and spelling can be "archaised" without errors, but syntax can
> >>> never be "copied" without errors.
> >>> It's an interesting problem. Are there some notorious passages in
> >>> the
> >>> mentioned corpus where people say it is archaic artificially? I
> >>> admit
> >>> I never really studied this.
> >>> Regards
> >>> Herman
> >> Hi Herman,
> >> But we expect that students can reproduce Hebrew in exams, esp. if we
> >> test on English to Hebrew. Some bright students can get 100%, so how
> >> about scribes etc?
> > I guess there are bright people all over, David, but imagine you read
> > a lot of Shakespeare and you decide to write some Shakespearean stuff
> > of your own (a new composition). It's easy to reproduce the
> > morphology, the spelling, the words, but it's very difficult to get
> > the syntax perfect:
> > In your fake Shakespeare text, certain structures will easily end up,
> > that look perfect English, but further research shows it was unknown
> > in Shakespeare's days.
> > I don't say it's impossible, but it's near. I for myself could fake
> > 17th century words and spelling, but I have no idea how the syntax
> > really works in detail.
> > best regards
> > Herman
> The parallel with Shakespeare doesn't work too well because for
> Shakespeare we have an extensive corpus of texts against which any
> text manufactured to look old can be measured. There is no such
> control set of texts for biblical Hebrew because we have little
> direct knowledge of the early history of the text and so any attempt
> to identify definitively a corpus of exclusively older Hebrew is
> plagued by the possibility (or perhaps probability) that the texts
> identified as old have either been updated or have themselves been
> manufactured to look old.
> Martin Shields,
> Sydney, Australia.
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