Zevit: The Anterior Construction in Classical Hebrew

Schling jwinger at westmont.edu
Mon Nov 22 16:47:13 EST 1999


I looked through the archives to see if there had been any discussion about 
Ziony Zevit's book _The Anterior Construction in Classical Hebrew_ and 
could only find Matthew Anstey's post from 9/27/99.  I am wondering if 
anybody has read Zevit's book and would be willing to comment on it, 
specifically his argument that the BH verb system was tensed and that the 
tenses were discerned by the accent.  I am also very curious about a 
question which Matthew Anstey asked in his post:

I am particularly interested in whether Zevit's claim, quoting Bybee, is 
true, that the "anterior does not occur in languages that do not have other 
tense distinctions marked inflectionally." (This is based on Bybee's 
analysis of languages across the world.) If this premiss is true, and if 
Hebrew clearly has grammaticised anterior constructions, then is this not 
an unassailable argument that BH has tensed verb forms?

Finally, I am wondering if anybody knows of any reviews of Zevit's work.  
Thanks in advance for any help which you can provide.


Justin Winger
jwinger at westmont.edu

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