[b-hebrew] Species of Genitive

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Mon Aug 30 08:45:52 EDT 2004

On Sunday 29 August 2004 16:15, Peter Kirk wrote:
> On 28/08/2004 23:37, Dave Washburn wrote:
> > ...
> >
> >
> >James,
> >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
> genitive.
> 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.

The reduced-relative-clause idea has been floated a couple of times in the 
past in the relevant literature, but there have been some problems with it.  
I don't remember what they were (before you ask! ;-) but I can try to look up 
some article titles and get back to you.  It was those problems that led me 
to the question "could it be that, instead of a relative clause, we're 
dealing with a reduced *verbal* clause?"  I'll try to see what I can find 
and, hopefully, post it later.


Dave Washburn
"No good.  Hit on head."   -Gronk

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