[b-hebrew] "Species" of the Genitive Waltke/O'Connor

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Fri Aug 27 06:38:20 EDT 2004


On 27/08/2004 07:25, C. Stirling Bartholomew wrote:

>Waltke/O'Connor seem a little embarrassed about proceeding to level of
>semantic classification for the Genitive which they call "a traditional
>classification of species" (Waltke/O'Connor BH Syntax 9.4.b p141). But they
>go ahead and do it even though you get the feeling that they know better.
>
>The move from syntax categories like adnominal genitives to semantic
>categories like genitive of authorship (9.5.1.c) is precisely the kind of
>move that has in the last decade produced several Greek grammars of dubious
>merit.
>
>D.Blakemore* at the end of her chapter on "Enrichment" raises the issue of
>the semantic properties of the genitive in a way which suggests that what
>Waltke/O'Connor call "a traditional classification of species" is in fact
>something to be embarrassed about.
>  
>

Genitive as a syntactic and especially morphological category is clearly 
defined, at least in Greek and many other languages. There doesn't seem 
to be a true morphological genitive in biblical Hebrew (although there 
may have been in earlier stages of the language), but the construct 
relationship is syntactically analogous to a genitive relationship 
between noun phrases, as are the English possessive constructions with 
's and of.

The embarrassment comes when people try to treat the genitive as a 
semantic category. This simply doesn't work, especially 
cross-linguistically. There are many different semantic relationships 
which can be expressed by a syntactic genitive (or construct or 
possessive) relationship, but there is no consistency from language to 
language on exactly what can be expressed in this way.


-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/





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