direct vs indirect discourse

George Athas gathas at ausisp.com
Mon Jul 16 09:39:27 EDT 2001


| Dear Friends,
| Does biblical Hebrew have any grammatical or syntactical way of
| indicating direct versus indirect discourse?  Cheers.
| Mike D.

Mike,

The inclusion of the infinitive construct of )MR with prepositional lamed prefixed [ie,
Le)MoR] is your best marker of direct discourse. Quite often, Le)MoR is translated as
"saying", but it can also be translated by English quotation marks (").

The conjunction KiY is usually a marker of indirect discourse.

However, these words do not necessarily have to be present in the text to indicate direct
or indirect discourse. It's syntactical etiquette for them to be there, but sometimes they
just simply aren't there and you have to go by context.  That's usually a matter of
observing the change in person. You get a lot more 2nd person verbs, pronouns and suffixes
in direct discourse than you do in indirect discourse (where you would expect a lot more
3rd person verbs, pronouns and suffixes).


Best regards,

GEORGE ATHAS
(Sydney, Australia)
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