[b-hebrew] Pronoun )nky in Judg. 6:8

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Fri Oct 8 13:02:36 EDT 2004

On Wednesday 06 October 2004 10:55, C. Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
> On 10/5/04 11:27 PM, "David Kummerow" <farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com> wrote:
> > Actually, Holmstedt is one of the few who *does* argue for a S-V order
> > for BH.
> That's right, and using Proverbs* as a database. A brilliant move, like
> writing a syntax of the Greek clause based on the choruses of Euripides.
> On another front, Holmstedt has taken the notion of "eclectic" to new
> levels. In Fronting** he advocates the marriage of heaven and hell, Prague
> and MIT.  Using Chomsky minimalism (?) for syntax and pragmatics for
> information structure.
> The second part of Fronting* on pragmatics is a good read. The first part
> leaves me wondering what Late-Chomsky has to offer for the study of Hebrew
> or any other natural language. Once we get past the terminology problem, we
> find a nice logical model that has a way of ignoring unwelcome data by
> inventing new rules. If we have to choose (do we?) I would rather run with
> S. Dik or even Halliday. But since eclecticism is the current rage, I
> suspect we will have to give MIT a place at the table.

I'm inclined to agree with you about late-Chomsky minimalism.  Ever since I 
got into TG way back in the early 80's I have believed that he took a wrong 
turn right around that time, and that's why I didn't follow him down the 
minimalist/government-binding road.  I still use a slightly adapted form of 
his earlier "extended standard theory" (nothing like self-aggrandizing 
titles, but that's nothing surprising from him).  Thus, I tend to reject 
everything he came up with from the development of trace theory down to the 
present time.

The most distressing thing about his minimalism to me is the way that he 
claims to have "simplified" the grammar, when in fact all he has done is move 
the problem spots to a different corner of it.  Thus, something that doesn't 
follow his "projection principle" or seems to militate against his catch-all 
transformation "move-alpha" goes into "logical form" or some other 
pigeon-hole of the grammar.  Nothing has been simplified, just rearranged.

So, to give a far too long answer to your question, no, I don't think 
Chomskyan minimalism is of any use for Hebrew, or any other language for that 
matter, because it's based far too much on modern colloquial American 
English, a language in which anything can happen and probably will.  But the 
earlier form of his theory, built around phrase structure rules and a limited 
number and type of transformations, has great usefulness for Hebrew and I 
have used it with good results.

Dave Washburn
"No good.  Hit on head."   -Gronk

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