diachronics and P

Vincent DeCaen decaen at chass.utoronto.ca
Sun May 26 13:40:27 EDT 2002

randy, my friend,

i stayed up late last night, reviewing the methodological/theoretical 
sections of Kropat, Polzin, Hurvitz, Rooker, as well as various articles.  
i don't see any change in Hurvitz between 1972 to present.  i honestly 
wish i didn't have to keep rereading this stuff, to tell you the truth.... 
:-)  then, of course, there's rendsburg.... <sigh>

re strawman:
i don't see any way around my mickey-mouse characterization of the 
framework: early vs late; and dividing line is circa 600 BCE. the late 
corpus is that identified by Driver:  curious that Hurvitz leaves out 
Esther when he lists the set of texts.  re ideology: milgrom, e.g., on P 
and Leviticus is at least a little more above board....

hurvitz explicitly says that the grammatical approach can't be right 
(e.g., Polzin), because it gives the wrong order (and so leaves room for a 
postexilic P, if you're not careful). the issue is ezekiel (he assumes to 
mark the terminus ad quem of early or classical hebrew) vs P.  hurvitz 
requires, therefore, that P come before ezek.  his lexical studies end up 
showing this order. (the fallacy of assuming ezek = ca 586 is another 
matter again.)  P *must* come before Ezek, and he makes it come before 
Ezek.....  i guess the only issue between Polzin vs Hurvitz/Rooker is 
precisely the order of Ezekiel relative to P.

of course, from a grammatical point of view, preexilic P is nuts:  as even 
Polzin demonstrated. Hurvitz rules out grammatical endings, etc, precisely 
the material that gives you, in my humble opinion, the correct distribution of 
texts.  interesting.  oh well, there should be some interesting material 
in press by now:  my work should've been done for me therein.....  but the 
idea that a narrow lexical study should trump grammatical factors is 
something else again: i would argue bizarre in the annals of historical 

re my own work:
i'm in the process of writing up a monograph on corpus linguistics and 
verbal morphological variation.  the distribution is already found in my 
JHS article online.  it just so happens to jibe with the new (?) 
history/archaeology, cf., e.g., Finkelstein, Silberman, The Bible 
Unearthed.  interesting little coincidence, i guess.....

i'm also working up the argument for Leviticus being dependent on Numbers. 

re other work:
what do you think of Ian Young's 1993 book...?

Dr Vincent DeCaen
Research Associate
Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
University of Toronto

Hebrew Syntax Encoding Initiative (HSEI)
Have you heard the one about the accountant?

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