Biblica 78, 4: "Reference Time" in Some Bib. Temporal Constructions

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at mclink.it
Fri Dec 31 04:57:11 EST 1999


I found this while on the net. I thought someone who has access might be
interested.

Ian

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Biblica 78 (1997) Fasc. 4

van der Merwe, C.H.J., «"Reference Time" in Some Biblical Temporal
Constructions», Vol. 78(4,1997) 503-524. 

This study sets out to explain why Biblical Hebrew distinguishes three
sintactically different temporal constructions which apparently have, from
a sentence semantic point of view, the same meaning. For these purposes it
utilises, firstly, the concept (current) reference time as developped by
English grammarians and, secondly, aspects of the results of a major study
of BH word order by Walter Cross to determine the difference between
topicalised, sentence final and temporal constructions separated by a wâw
from the rest of the clause (they are supposed to be part of). It then
establishes the following: (1) The difference between topicalised and
sentence final temporal constituents is most probably due to a difference
in the information structure of the sentences in which they are used. (2)
The difference between, on the one hand, topicalised and sentence final
temporal constituents and, on the other hand, temporal constructions
separated by a wâw from the rest of the clause, is of a different nature.
The latter are used exclusively to specify or update the temporal vantage
point of an event, i.e. its (current) reference time. This is in contrast
to topicalised and sentence final temporal constituents that specify the
temporal profile of an event or state of affairs. It may be the time the
event took place, its duration or frequency. 




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