[b-hebrew] Species of Genitive

DrJDPrice at aol.com DrJDPrice at aol.com
Sat Aug 28 16:14:35 EDT 2004

Dear Listers:
I rarely post messages to this list, although I regularly monitor the daily  
digest. But this topic grabbed my attention. I teach Hebrew syntax by means  
of my own text-linguistic model that employs semantic restraints. I agree that  
the so-called genitive categories have little exegetical value. I have come 
to  the conclusion that all noun phrases are derived from a noun in  
deep-structure restrained by a dependent clause.
N|S(N) ==> N(phrase)
This notation means: Noun "N" such that clause "S" is true about "N"; this  
deep-structure information is transformed into the surface-structure  
"Noun(phrase)." S may be a simple clause, a paragraph, or even a discourse.  Whatever 
its content, S is old information contained in the preceding context of  the 
discourse, or in common knowledge. The author assumed that his readers knew  the 
content of S, so he was free to simplify the information to phrase  form.
Genitive noun phrases are derived from the following form of the above  rule:
N1|S(N1, N2) ==> N1 + N2(gen)
The content of S declares the relationship of N1 and N2, and is what is  
exegetically interesting. Sometimes S may lend itself to a category label, but  
often it doesn't, explaining why we have so much trouble with categories. I  
teach my students to forget categories and to look for S. This has been quite  
successful in getting students past the categories they learned in Greek, and  
into semantics of the text.
James D. Price
Prof. of Hebrew and OT
Temple Baptist Seminary
Chattanooga, TN

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list