BH, word order, now and then

Vincent DeCaen decaen at
Thu Sep 9 18:00:48 EDT 1999

hi folks, ready for another year?! (happy 5760!)

as some of you know, i defended the idea that at the heart of the
hebrew verbal system is a basic dynamic of verb movement, what in
english grammar is often referred to as "auxiliary inversion". my
contention has always been that if you bracket the consecutives in the
classical idiom, you have the same basic syntax from day one... until
the present.

been teaching myself modern hebrew so i can access materials on
masoretic studies. interesting to look at the grammars by glinert, or
muraoka's "modern hebrew for biblical scholars". most explicit
statement on word order with prefixed form is ch13 in Rosen's "A
Textbook of Israeli Hebrew" (recommended by Muraoka as a definitive
statement, pc).

notice especially 13.2.3, p72

L) NDBR	"we shall not talk", YWSP YDBR "Joseph will talk"


)L NDBR "let's not talk", YDBR YWSP "let Joseph talk!"

(cf. Germanic verb-second in main clauses).

this basic dynamic was recognized by Revell 1989 and Nicacci 1987, and
yet still hasn't made a dent in the nonspecialists understanding
<sigh>. go figure. and yet you'd think at least the israelis would've
picked up on by now. <shaking head>

(that doesn't mean i've got all the answers! just the basic key)
Dr Vincent DeCaen     <decaen at>
c/o Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, 4 Bancroft Ave., 2d floor
University of Toronto, Toronto ON, CANADA, M5S 1A1

Hebrew Syntax Encoding Initiative,

The mind takes to a new idea the way the body takes to microbe:
It rejects it.  --P.D. Medawar

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