Matthew Anstey manstey at portal.ca
Wed Aug 18 10:13:41 EDT 1999

Gday all,

I have a few replies in one message to various people.


>Can anyone recommend any good studies of emphasis in Biblical Hebrew?
>In particular, does anyone have an opinion on Muraoka's Emphatic Words
>and Structures in Biblical Hebrew?

The word "emphasis" and its connotations is linguistically problematic. I
would recommend considering instead the issue of markedness/unmarkedness as
a firmer starting point. There are many articles around on this topic, but
all of the ones below in my opinion are very good, and generally
understandable without too much linguistics. They should all be available at
a local university and/or theological library.

Markedness In General

Chapter 2, "Markedness as Meta-Iconicity: Distributional and Cognitive
Correlates of Syntactic Structure" in Givón, T. 1995. Functionalism and
Grammar. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Markedness in Biblical Hebrew in General

van Wolde, Ellen. 1997. Linguistic Motivation and Biblical Exegesis. In
Narrative Syntax and the Hebrew Bible: Papers of the Tilburg Conference
1996, ed. van Wolde, Ellen. 21-50. Leiden: Brill.

Buth, Randall. 1994. Contextualizing Constituent as Topic, Non-Sequential
Background and Dramatic Pause: Hebrew and Aramaic. In Function and
Expression in Functional Grammar. Functional Grammar Series 16, eds.
Elisabeth Engberg-Pedersen, Lisbeth Falster Jakobsen, Lone Schack Rasmussen.
215-232. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Buth, Randall. 1995. Functional Grammar, Hebrew and Aramaic: An Integrated,
Textlinguistic Approach to Syntax. In Discourse Analysis of Biblical
Literature. Semeia Studies, ed. Bodine, Walter R. 77-102. Atlanta, Georgia:
Scholars Press.

Bandstra, Barry L. 1992. Word Order and Emphasis in Biblical Hebrew
Narrative: Syntactic Observations on Genesis 22 from a Discourse
Perspective. In Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew, Bodine, Walter R. 109-124.
Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns.

Markedness in BH wrt Specific Issues

Bliese, Loren F. 1994. Symmetry and Prominence in Hebrew Poetry: With
Examples from Hosea. In Discourse Perspectives on Hebrew Poetry in the
Scriptures. UBS Monograph Series 7, ed. Wendland, Ernst R. 67-94. Reading,
UK: United Bible Societies.

Rosenbaum, Michael. 1997. Word-Order Variation in Isaiah 40-55: A Functional
Perspective. Studia Semitica Neerlandica. Assen, The Netherlands: Van

Miller, Cynthia L. 1996. The Representation of Speech in Biblical Hebrew
Narrative: A Linguistic Analysis. Harvard Semitic Museum Monographs 55.
Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press. pp.299-317

>Nick Andrewes


The best place to start is with:

Kelley, Page H., Mynatt, Daniel S., & Crawford, Timothy G. 1998. The Masorah
of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: Introduction and Annotated Glossary.
Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans.

After this the International Congress Papers are invaluable. For serious
research Spanish and Arabic are essential along with all the usual other
languages. Which is one of the many reasons I won't becoming a Masoretic

The bibliography in this will keep you busy for about 30 years ;-)

>I am doing some personal research on the Masoretes, and haven't found alot
>of info on them. In particular I was looking for info on when the vowels
>were introduced(I have read that this was done between the 5th and 9th

> I am also looking for information on the Masoretes scholars...

Do you mean then or now? Here is a list compiled quickly out of the
above-mentioned work:

Masoretes: ben Naphtali, ben Asher (family), the Teachers of Tiberias, the
Men of Tiberias, Phinehas

Post-Masoretes: Meir ben Todros ha-Levi Abulafia (1180-1244), Menahem
ha-Meiri (1249-1306), Jekuthiel ha-Naqdan (12-13th C.), Jacob ben Chayyim
ibn Adonijah (15-16th C.), Elias Levita (1468-1549) "father of Masoretic
studies", Jedidiah Solomon Raphael ben Abraham of Norzi (17th C.) wrote
"most important Masoretic treatise ever written", Seeligmann Isaac Baer
(1825-1897), Christian David Ginsburg (1831-1914), Paul Ernste Kahle
(1875-1965), Gerard E. Weil (1926-1986), Harry Orlinsky, Aron Dotan, E.J
Revell, and Israel Yeivin.

>Tim McKane


Bibleworks by Hermeneutika is good also for beginners I think. It is used in
some places to assist the teaching of first-year Hebrew. For an absolute
beginner I think Memcards is an excellent little Dos program that I used a
lot. It is just vocab cards on the screen, but customisable, so words can be
grouped into different categories. I'm not sure if it is still available.
>A while back we had a discussion about computer programs for
>doing complex grammatical searches in Hebrew; now I need
>suggestions for the best overall program for a Hebrew beginner.
>The names that have come up so far are Logos, the Hermeneutika
>program (I forget the name) and Bible Windows.  What do y'all
>recommend for someone just starting beginning Hebrew, and why?
>Dave Washburn

With regards,
Matthew Anstey

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