[b-hebrew] Re: Hebrew "Nominative"

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 1 21:01:22 EDT 2004

Dear Clay,

Personally, I think Waltke and O'Connor and Jouon and Muraoka have 
unfortunately used vague linguistics. I don't think they have escaped the 
vague use of the (catch-all) term "emphasis", despite Muraoka's _Emphatic 
Words and Structures in Biblical Hebrew_  where "emphasis" was given a 
psychological definition (see esp. pp. 2, 48). Both works rely heavily on 
this monograph (note the repeated footnoting in W-O of this work). However, 
van der Merwe says, "[Muraoka's] concentration on the 'psychological' 
factors and the item's emphasized' resulted in his neglecting to describe 
the sematic and discourse-pragmatic considerations involved" (C.H.J. van der 
Merwe, _The Old Hebrew Particle gam: A Syntactic-Semantic Description of gam 
in Gn-2Kn [ATS 34; St. Ottilien: EOS Verlag, 1990], 39).

You might like to read the following documents where a much better treatment 
regarding this matter of "emphasis" is provided, particuarly because 
semantics and discourse-pragmatics are featured. Unfortunately, it is this 
type of non-vague linguistics which is yet to find its way into the 
reference grammars.




If correct, this would show that the introduction of linguistics of this 
sort does have benifit for BH studies. There is a benifit exegetically for 
"Joe Seminarian".


David Kummerow.

>From: "C. Stirling Bartholomew" <jacksonpollock at earthlink.net>
>To: David Kummerow <farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com>,<b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Re: Hebrew "Nominative"
>Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 10:40:31 -0700
>On 9/28/04 4:26 PM, "David Kummerow" <farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com> wrote:
> > Consequently, these clauses are best viewed as having a
> > detached or pendens phrase; and depending on whose theory you want to 
> > with, the phrase is either topicalised, focused or contasted 
> > kontrasted).
> >
> > Your examples might then translate into Engish as:
> >
> > "As for Esau, he is Edom" and "As for Yahweh, he is God".
> >
> > What do you make of this?
>Using what was at hand,  I read Waltke/O'Conner (16.3.1-3). What strikes me
>about all of this is how incomprehensible it would be to a third year
>seminary student. When you start talking about focus or topic/comment you
>are activating a cognitive framework which is inaccessible to 95% of
>students who might have Waltke/O'Conner as their textbook for second year
>When you say "focus" to Joe Seminarian he will probably think something 
>emphasis, which is hardly an adequate understanding of what "focus" means.
>The introduction of linguistics into the study of BH poses a problem which
>isn't really solved by attaching a glossary to the grammar. It takes more
>than a glossary to unpack the analytical models that give meaning to these
>Joe Seminarian's inability to digest Muraoka,  Waltke/O'Conner, has brought
>us *Arnold & Choi (2003), where we find old familiar notions like 
>and "pleonasm" cropping up in the discussion of verbless clauses and
>pronouns. It isn't that the authors don't know better, they cite 
>from the reference grammars. I suspect this is driven by pragmatic
>Thanks for all the discussion.
>Clay Bartholomew
>*A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax  (ISBN:0521533481)
>Arnold, Bill T.; Choi, John H. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003

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