[b-hebrew] Re: Malachi 2:16

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Sep 1 11:46:13 EDT 2003

On 01/09/2003 07:37, Harold R. Holmyard III wrote:

> ...
>I take many places in the OT as God speaking of Himself in the third
>person. And a number of such verses have speech attribution phrases like
>"thus says the Lord." So whether the words in Mal 2:16 are direct or
>indirect speech seems less important a distinction to me than whether God
>speak of Himself or a person who divorces.
Agreed. The distinction between direct and indirect speech is anyway far 
from rigid, outside the prescriptive grammar of the old school of teachers.

>I pointed outCynthia Miller writes "the frame of
>>indirect speech necessarily appears only initially since the quotation
>>is syntactically subordinate to the frame" ("Introducing Direct
>>Discourse in Biblical Hebrew Narrative", p.203 of R.D. Bergen (ed)
>>"Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics", SIL 1994), but this is a
>>non sequitur as it is by no means necessarily always true that
>>subordinate clauses follow their main clauses.
Interestingly, Malachi 3:1 contains a double embedded example of this, 
if it is some kind of indirect speech. The subordinate clause 'asher 
'attem xafetsim precedes the verb of the clause it is subordinate to, 
hinne-ba', which in turn precedes the verb of the top level clause, 'amar.

>I do not really understand the term "frame." Does that mean that words
>introducing indirect speech are a frame for it? For example, in the
>sentence, "John said that he went to town," "John said" would be the frame
>for the indirect speech. ...
Yes, I think that's what Miller means. Her article is mostly about 
frames for direct speech, but in this section she deals with 
distinguishing direct and indirect speech.

>... It does seem less likely that the frame, if I have
>understood it correctly, would follow the indirect speech, since that is a
>less natural way to express indirect speech. But in a novel I would not be
>surprised to see something like:
>He went to town, he said.
>So yes, it seems possible for words introducing indirect speech to follow
>the indirect speech.
Good example. Well, I was thinking more of Hebrew. In some languages 
e.g. Turkish the frame regularly follows the reported speech. In English 
it normally precedes, but not invariably. The same seems to be true of 

>				Yours,
>				Harold Holmyard

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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