[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.

http://www.uwm.edu/%7Erdholmst/FrontingSBLMW2000.pdf

http://www.uwm.edu/%7Erdholmst/ShimasakiFocus.pdf

http://www.uwm.edu/%7Erdholmst/ProverbsSBL2003.pdf


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".

Regards,

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 
>run
> > with, the phrase is either topicalised, focused or contasted 
>(alternatively
> > 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?
>
>David,
>
>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
>Hebrew.
>
>When you say "focus" to Joe Seminarian he will probably think something 
>like
>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
>terms.
>
>Joe Seminarian's inability to digest Muraoka,  Waltke/O'Conner, has brought
>us *Arnold & Choi (2003), where we find old familiar notions like 
>"emphasis"
>and "pleonasm" cropping up in the discussion of verbless clauses and
>pronouns. It isn't that the authors don't know better, they cite 
>extensively
>from the reference grammars. I suspect this is driven by pragmatic
>considerations.
>
>Thanks for all the discussion.
>
>
>greetings,
>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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