[b-hebrew] Species of Genitive

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sun Aug 29 18:15:45 EDT 2004

On 28/08/2004 23:37, Dave Washburn wrote:

> ...
>This is fascinating.  I have been working for several years on the idea that 
>the construct relation in Hebrew is actually built on a reduced verbal 
>clause, a clause built around what I call a "relator" verb (i.e. one that 
>semantically denotes some sort of relationship).  I prefer the term "clause" 
>over "sentence" and hence I usually notate S as Cl, but that's mainly just a 
>quibble over terminology.  In any case, what I speculate is
>N - V(r) - N --> N(cs) - N
>which to me looks a lot like your map above.  What do you think?
Yes, this is fascinating.

It reminds me also of the construction using $EL, and forms like $EL.IY 
"my" which is a one word sentence which can be glossed morpheme by 
morpheme which-(is)to-me. Here there is an explicit, although much 
reduced, relative clause. This is very common in modern Hebrew [as 
$:LIY?], and is found in the HB only in Song of Songs 1:6, 3:7, 8:12, 
and, with B.:-, Jonah 1:7,12, Eccl. 8:17. And although this is a late 
Hebrew form, the relative $E- is in fact quite ancient, and comparable 
with Aramaic D.IY which is a relative pronoun also used as a mark of the 

I wonder if in some sense the construct relation was also understood as 
an even more abbreviated relative clause in which the relative pronoun 
has disappeared completely. This would tend to support your hypothesis 
and James' one.

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

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