Bryan Rocine 596547 at
Mon Sep 28 23:23:00 EDT 1998

Dear Brent,

My opinion doesn't really carry much authority, but I'll grade some of the
pieces you mention on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being excellent.  Who knows,
maybe it will generate some helpful conversation on the list.  My frame of
reference for the following grades is as follws: a student has intermediate
or better BH under his belt, and he wants to know how study in general
linguistics and discourse analysis can help him.

               Fun  Vision  Helpfulness  Scholarship  Readability 

Bergen      9       9             7                 7                 9

Bodine      7       7              8                8                  5

Dawson    4        6             5                4                 4

"Fun" is included as a grade out of deference to the amateur who can afford
to consider such a frivolous quality of a book before he chooses to read
it; and the Bergen edition is the most fun.  It represents the pioneering
of new
methods and theoretical bases for Hebrew studies.  We have some of the
Bergen authors on the list, so I want to clarify that mere 7 for
scholarship(as if these notable authors care what I give it!).   The 7 is
more a reflection of the narrow scope of any one article than it is the
quality of
the articles( I safe?).   TThe Bodine edition is the most basic,
saying "Mr. Hebraist, meet Mr. Linguist," and so it is not quite as
forward-looking,  a bit more conservative than the Bergen.  Many of the
articles are summaries of earlier, ground-breaking work, so they can no
longer be considered as highly visionary in my way of thinking.  The
visionary aspect of the book is the whole idea of getting Hebraist and
general linguist together.  The Dawson book is, IMO,  likely the shortest
on scholarship, although who knows, it may be the most helpful to our
particularly if he is interested in Longacre.  It has a helpful
explanation of the three parameters which distinguish the discourse genres
posited by Longacre.  Dawson calls for the use of discourse analysis in
beginning Hberew studies, and of course, that's just exactly the call I
have follwed, so I can't be all 'down' on the work.

My comments below are cut and pasted from some annotations accompanying the
bibliography I keep.  They may not be much more help than the blurb that
you see in an  Eisenbrauns catalogue or such like.


1) Robert D. Bergen, "Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics", Dallas,
Texas; SIL, 1994. This book is a collection of articles that were presented
at the 1993 seminar by the same name hosted by the Summer Institute of
Linguistics.  It includes sections on Grammatical, Syntactical, and Accent
Studies(featuring van der Merwe, Longacre, F. I. Anderson, Niccacci,  Buth,
and Lode), Narrative Genre(featuring Niccacci, Miller, T.D. Anderson,
Bailey, Kuhn, Winter-Nielson, Bergen, and Longacre/Hwang), and Topics
Relating to Non-narrative Genres(featuring de Regt, Wendland, F. I.
Anderson, et al). 

btw, Brent, you sent me the Collins article on wayyiqtol as pluperfect.  it
is essentially a re-working to Buth's thesis from this collection.

2) W.R. Bodine, "Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew", Winona Lake;
Eisenbrauns, 1992. This is a collection of articles is designed to bridge
the gap between the latest theories of linguistics and the Hebraist who may
not be familiar with the efficacy and potential of those theories.  The
articles are paired so that the first of the pair describes a linguistic
theory generally while the second applies the theory specifically to
Biblical Hebrew.  I especiaslly like the articles on semantics(one by
Scanlin and one by Barr), syntax(one Bodine and one Bandstra) and discourse
analysis(one by MacDonald and one by Longacre).

3) Randall Buth, "The Hebrew verb in Current Discussion", JOTT5 (1992),
91-105. We are priviledged to have Prof. Buth as a member of our list, and
he has recommended this work to me, a piece I have not read yet.  I'll be
nabbing it up on my next trip to the library.  ;-)

4) David Allen Dawson, "Text-Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew", JSOTSup,
177, Sheffield, 1994. Dawson does critiques of the works of Niccaci,
Eskhult, Anderson, Khan, and Longacre, Longacre being the heavy favorite. 
He also guides the Hebraist in the application of tagmemic theory to
Longacre's discourse genres and does a Longacrean analysis of all of Ruth
and the Jephthah account.  I think there's a pretty negative review of the
Dawson work somewhere on the net.  Use Altavista and search on the author's

B. M. Rocine
Associate Pastor
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13208


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