BH word order, peter kirk

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Mon Sep 13 10:19:17 EDT 1999

Well, if you can show this, you have certainly showed something, so 
good luck to you. On the other hand, languages do change basic word 
order with time, and presumably they do so with continuity (at least 
dictators may have tried saying "From today you must speak and write 
SVO instead of VSO", but I don't think it happened in this case), so 
it doesn't prove much to show that the change is continuous e.g. that 
certain word orders gradually became rare and others gradually became 
more common. You can't just ignore Randall's waw-hahippux clauses in 
b-Hebrew as they were the commonest in the language (in many genres at 
least), and so, perhaps by definition, definitive for basic word 

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: BH word order, peter kirk
Author:  <decaen at> at Internet
Date:    11/09/1999 08:26

what i'm getting at, peter, is that you should be able to show 
continuity of order effects with yiqtol from modern straight through to 
mishnaic and qumran; also in aramaic dialects, ugaritic.  so if i
could bring all that evidence together with a generative analysis for 
hebrew that also has at its heart word order and the semantics of 
yiqtol.... well, of course i wouldn't prove anything, but as data to 
adduce in favour of the analysis, that would weigh pretty heavy.

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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