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

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Aug 27 22:17:38 EDT 2004

Dear Clay,

>RT is very much talking about semantics but in the cognitive approach the
>relationship between the code (marked form) and the semantic realization
>triggered by that code is completely different from what you will find in
>traditional grammars (Hebrew or Greek). To cognitive approach views semantic
>realizations as states within the cognitive framework of the
>reader/listener. The marked form itself doesn't contribute much to the
>process. The semantic realization is highly nondeterministic, therefore
>defining categories for semantic sepcies of genitives makes about as much
>sense as categorizing stones in Israel based on whom the stone is throne at.
>This is a Jewish stone. This stone is for Americans. This is a Catholic
>stone. This is a stone for Randall Buth and his friends :-))).

HH: Having thought about your original post for a while and now 
reading this, i have decided that I don't agree with you in terms of 
instruction, which is a major purpose for grammars. I think a display 
of the types of genitive construction that the Hebrew allows is quite 
helpful and possibly even necessary. Dallas Theological Seminary had 
very beneficial handouts giving examples of what the nominative, 
genitive, and accusative could do, and sometimes the examples can 
open a door of interpretation that otherwise might be shut to the 
student. It is good to have the handouts even now, simply to remember 
all the interpretive possibilities. They might exist in Hebrew while 
not coming to the mind of the English reader. So guidance from more 
experienced students of the language (teachers, grammars) is 
definitely a plus.

HH: You may be saying that such categories do not, strictly speaking, 
have objective reality; there is no particular marker for them, 
perhaps, beyond the complexities of context. I'm aware of that, but 
it is still the case that there are repeated ways in which the 
genitive, accusative, and nominative are used in Hebrew that it is 
good for one to know. That is what the "species of genitive" really 
signifies. Now the number of categories derived, and their particular 
nature, can vary in validity, but I would not want to leave the 
student without an acquaintance with such nuanced delineations of 

				Harold Holmyard

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