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

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Mon Aug 30 11:09:29 EDT 2004


Clay wrote:
> Waltke/O'Connor 9.5.1 #6
> Jer 1:2
> dbr-yhwh
> W/O call this a genitive of authorship.
> My question. Does this genitive *mean* authorship? Should we let a student
> think that this genitive *means* authorship?

 I think to tell a student that a *particular* genitive means authorship is
okay if we only clarify that the meaning comes from context not grammar.
These construct chains are generally a lot easier to read than they are to
label!  ;-)

I think the criticism of W and O'C in this thread may be summed up by saying
their presentation "species of genitive" is misplaced in a grammar book.  It
is better located in a word book or lexicon of BH idiom.  (I confess to
wondering if O'Connor may be distracted by a fixation for long books.)

On the other hand, W and O'C do try to apologize in advance for their
labelling practice in their intro to the section.  They mention that their
labels are arbitrary.  MOre importantly, they indicate that the Hebrew
writer exercises *creativity under constraint* (my words, not theirs).  The
species they cite are to demonstrate the range of creativity that exists in
the use of the genitive construction.  The authors' appeal to Humpty and
Alice should indicate to us that the labels are not to be taken too
seriously.  While it may be fair to fault W and O'C for including
explanations that range byond syntax, it is not fair to hold W and O'C
responsible for students who do not read the introduction to their section.


B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

ph: 315.437.6744
fx: 315.437.6766

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