SVO in narration, for Liz and Dave

yochanan bitan-buth ButhFam at
Sun Sep 3 04:07:48 EDT 2000

Dave Washburn and/or Liz Fried are apparently looking for subsequent SVO:
> (lf-?) I was taught that, the SVO in a narrative text should be
> with "meanwhile," i.e., concurrent as you say, or in the pluperfect.
> Are there any examples where the SVO clause is clearly subsequent?
> I was working on the Dinah story, and got called to task by my professor
> because I hadn't taken account of this. Gen. 34:5 I had translated
> "then Joseph heard," and the prof wanted "Meanwhile, Joseph had heard."

Many of the paragraph initial and episode initial occurrences of SVO will
be subsequent. 
A classic case for beginning studetns is Jonah 1.4. The throwing of a storm
to the sea took place AFTER the boat set sail in verse 3. 

I generally refer to SVO as a "pausal" structure, and then explain to
students that the pause may be temporal, (either simultaneous or pluferct),
or structural (beginning a new structural unit, e.g. paragraph) or literary
(dramatic pause). This rule of thumb makes reading Hebrew narrative both
simple and remarkably informative. I wish it were more commonly
internalized and presented to Hebrew students. 

I would add that any "subsequent" SVOs within a paragraph are a classic
candidate for "dramatic pause", e.g. passages like Jonah 1.4c (the boat's
'a-fixing to breakup'), Gen 19.23-25, 44.4, Jud 6.21, and the breath-taking
Ester 7. 

Randall Buth, PhD
Jerusalem University College
and Hebrew University

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