[b-hebrew] Re: Species of Genitive (James D. Price)

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Tue Aug 31 10:33:43 EDT 2004


Dear Jim,

Perhaps I misunderstand you, because I find it hard to follow some of 
what you say. First of all, not all information in genitive 
constructs is "old information." It can be new information. And what 
you are suggesting, that a clause element has dropped out, has to be 
proved, not simply asserted. In English I can say that a fluffy cat 
played in the puddle. "Fluffy" is new information but represents what 
a genitive construct may accomplish in Hebrew. I can also say, "A cat 
is fluffy." But saying "a fluffy cat" is not a reduction of "a cat is 
fluffy." Rather, "fluffy" is an adjective that can modify a noun in 
this way. If one wants to change an attributive adjective into a 
predicate adjective and add a verb, that is fine, but it does not 
alter the original sentence structure or imply that the clause 
created was part of the original sentence. Or if it does, it seems a 
truism to say that an adjective predicates something about a noun.

				Yours,
				Harold Holmyard

>The theory is not merely semantic analysis, but transformational  grammar at
>the text level with semantic restraints. It assumes that the genitive  noun
>phrase (N2) that modifies the head noun (N1) is the remnant  of a dependent
>clause (S) about N1 and N2 that defines the semantic  relationship between the
>two.
>
>The rule needs to be expanded to include an understood  deletion/substitution
>transformation T(ds) that deletes all  unnecessarily redundant old
>information from the dependent clause, or otherwise  substitutes 
>pronouns; redundant old
>information is retained only to avoid  ambiguity.
>
>N1|S(N1, N2) * T(ds) ==> N1 + N2(gen)
>
>Linguistic analysis then consists of the reverse process:
>
>[N1 + N2(gen)] * B(ds) ==> N1|S(N1, N2)
>
>where B(ds) is the back transformation equivalent of T(ds) which restores 
>the content of the dependent clause (S). The author assumed that his readers 
>intuitively would be able to know the content of S. Students should 
>be taught to
>  find that information as well.
>
>Jim Price
>
>
>
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