OFF TOPIC Modern Hebrew question

Matthew Anstey ansteyfamily at
Mon May 20 02:37:09 EDT 2002

Dear B-Haverim,

I would like to contribute to this discussion about secondary languages and
literature. It seems to me that the discussion highlights a rather
individualist approach to academic work. I would think that no one person
can learn all the requisite secondary languages, secondary literature, other
skills etc. and that academic study of BH progresses in conversation and
dialogue. Each of us brings various skills to the conversation. For example,
how many on this list can evaluate (let alone practice) Verheij's (or
Baayen's) statistical work on BH binyamin, or Coetzee's (or Benua's,
Bat-El's, Adam's, etc) work on BH phonology using Optimatily Theory, or
Follingstad's use of Fauconnier's Mental Space theory to study Hebrew
deictics, or DeCaen's, Holmstedt's, Dijk's, Naude's et al use of generative
grammar, etc? The list goes on. there is so much specialisation these days.

In other words, the hope that we all know modern, mishnaic, rabbinic Hebrew,
spanish, Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian (as in Aikhenveld's recent
BH grammar in Russian), and so forth, could just as well be replaced by a
string of philological or linguistic or literary or other skills. It is
unrealistic that study of BH requires all of these.

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