[b-hebrew] Determination Hebrew vs. Aramaic

C. Stirling Bartholomew jacksonpollock at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 15 13:01:11 EST 2004

>From b-hebrew arcives:
> Psalm 2:7 and Proverbs 31 ben/bar
> Trevor & Julie Peterson 06peterson at cua.edu
> Thu Mar 21 17:15:46 EST 2002
> ... It is true that the determined state is much more the
> default in Aramaic than in Hebrew. Whereas we normally think of the
> determined state in Hebrew indicating definiteness, we could almost think of
> Aramaic as the opposite situation--the independent noun regularly appears in
> the determined state, unless it is explicitly marked for indefiniteness by
> appearing in the absolute. In the Aramaic of the Targums and in Syriac, the
> absolute state is quite rare and pretty heavily marked for nouns ...

I assume this means the -a suffix in Aramaic is not functionally
"equivalent" to the prefixed Hebrew h. This however leaves me a little
confused as to what to make of the -a suffix. For example, if we encounter a
determiner + noun in a translated text but we do not know if the original
was Hebrew or Aramaic, does the presence of the determiner present us with a
different set of issues with an Aramaic original than it would in Hebrew?

Clay Bartholomew 

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