nehemiah, minimalism: giuseppe, ian

Banyai Banyai at
Wed Mar 7 17:11:35 EST 2001

Vincent DeCaen wrote:
> so one thing that i want to do this summer is work up an
> exhaustive "dialect geography" a la corpus linguistics, and see how the
> chips fall.... both for the hebrew and aramaic...
> but i suppose you can forgive me for not giving away the specifics till i
> get *some* of this published.... ;-)  (hopefully, very soon.)
> but in terms of your general question, there is a general problem: between
> maximalist and minimalist extremes, where does the burden of proof rest?
> good question. all i am saying is, that an extreme minimalist position
> forces good questions (lateral thinking), and can frame traditional
> questions in a new light. that's all i'm committed to, at this time. i'm
> willing to judge any argument on its merits. but i will be in the library
> tomorrow, reading up on the basic sources i've culled from bibliographies,
> and will be in a better position to judge "merit"......

Dear Vincent, you write as if you knew how we should understand the outcome of 
such a study. I dare to say your experiment will remain as inconcludent as many 
others. It may say a lot about the story of how the biblical texts were handed 
over from a generation to the other, and nothing about the date of their sources 
or the first redaction of the texts.

If your conclusion will be, there is a bulk of archaic language rests, than the 
"minimalist" retort (and not at all false) would be: the texts are purposefull 

If it would go other way round, the "maximalists" would on their turn say (and 
having right) this would be the effect of later editing. Who would today read a 
Dante edition in the original language. Any edition ad usum delfini would be in 
modern day italian. 

The experiment is interesting, but historically irrelevant.

Best regards,

Banyai Michael

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