[b-hebrew] 1Kings 3:19 )$r a relative?

Robert Holmstedt rdholmst at uwm.edu
Mon Oct 11 13:37:12 EDT 2004


Don't mistake my claim about extraposition.  I am careful not to claim any
innovation for recognizing the actual construction here, rather the full
recognition of implications.  In my dissertation (there wasn't room in the
article, so it was only briefly mentioned in the conclusion),I give full
credit to Goshen-Gottstein for pointing towards this analysis in his 1949

There is a difference from the simple recognition of a grammatical
phenomenon and the fuller awareness of how recognizing its existence has
implications for the refinement if not total elimination of other
grammatical analyses.

I will continue to ignore your repeated jabs at Minimalism.  Read Chomsky;
he is fully able to defend himself (or, since everyone admits that his
writing is a bit dense, there are plenty of books that describe his
theories at a basic level).  

I would suggest though, that my work published for a Hebraist audience is
sufficiently readable without a great investment in the technical details
of any linguistic theory.  Most of the terminology is even used in Waltke
and O'Connor's grammar, as well as van der Merwe, Naude, and Kroeze's. 
The fact that you were able to use the SIL site (which is an organization
fairly well known, or should be, on this list), suggests that it wasn't
all that difficult.


--- "C. Stirling Bartholomew" <jacksonpollock at earthlink.net> wrote:

> On 10/10/04 11:48 AM, "C. Stirling Bartholomew"
> <jacksonpollock at earthlink.net> wrote:
> > 1Kings 3:19 wymt bN-h)$h hz)t lylh )$r $kbh (lyw
> > 
> > So what do you think? Is  )$r introducing a relative clause in 1Kings
> 3:19?
> > 
> > For Holmstedt's treatment see page 13 of his paper*.
> > 
> This is what Holmstedt* has to say about  )$r in 1Kings 3:19:
> Note (32) is a reference to 1Kings 3:19
> "In (32), the head that the extraposed relative modifies is the noun
> phrase
> son. The extraposed relative appears to be non-restrictively modifying
> the
> head in that it provided additional information which is unnecessary for
> identifying the referent of son (the head noun phrase son is already
> identified by virtue of the construct relationship with this woman). The
> relative clause is in fact providing the cause of death; the point is,
> however, that syntactically it is more economical to analyze the rva
> clause
> as a relative even if we render it as a causal clause in translation."
> It would appear that Holmstedt is capitalizing on a feature common to
> reference grammars on biblical languages. A strict division of semantic
> and
> syntactic functions is not always maintained.  Purpose, cause, result
> ...
> are these not semantic functional labels? If )$r clause in 1Kings 3:19
> is
> analyzed syntactically as a relative clause in may still function
> semantically as a causal modifier of wymt.
> I agree with Holmstedt that we ought to keep these issues sorted out.
> This
> is just one aspect of Holmstedt's project so don't jump on me for
> trivializing what he is saying :-)
> But what about extraposition? Is "extraposition" some sort of silver
> bullet?
> Holmstedt* states:
> "Recognizing the concept of extraposition allows us to analyze many more
> )$r
> clauses as relative clauses."
> >From the SIL site: 
> .htm
> > 
> > What is extraposition?
> > 
> > Definition 
> > 
> > Extrapostion is the process or result of moving  an element from its
> normal
> > place to a place at  the end or near to the end of a sentence.
> > 
> > Example 
> > 
> > The plumber arrived who we had called earlier .(who we had called
> earlier has
> > been extraposed from its normal position after plumber.)
> > Source 
> > 
> > Crystal 1997 
> >    
> The introduction of other constituents between the antecedent and a
> relative
> clause isn't a cause for wonder in Ancient Greek. Is it in Biblical
> Hebrew?
> I would assume that the authors of the standard reference grammars in BH
> are
> thoroughly familiar with this issue even though they may not use the
> term
> extraposition. So the implication that extraposition is some sort new
> data
> and a key to understanding the use of )$r falls to the floor IMHO. The
> key
> has been around for quite a while.
> I have found the reading of this and the other articles by Holmstedt
> well
> worth the time invested. I think he has potentially identified a
> weakness in
> the way we talk about the syntax )$r. However, the minimalist framework
> is
> going to blow a lot of smoke in peoples eyes and make it hard for them
> to
> accept the valid observations presented herein.
> greetings,
> Clay Bartholomew 
>  *page 13,  2001. " Headlessness and Extraposition: Another Look at the
> Syntax of [asher]."  Journal   of Northwest Semitic Languages
> 27(1):1-16.
>  Holmstedt papers are available here:
>  http://www.uwm.edu/%7Erdholmst/CV.htm

Dr. Robert D. Holmstedt
Hebrew Studies Program
Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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