[b-hebrew] Hebrew grammar books

Brian Abasciano bvabasciano at gmail.com
Tue Jul 1 13:42:51 EDT 2008

My impression has been that Jouon and Muraoka is the most authoritative (or well respected or what have you) Hebrew grammar. Is this (still) true?

God bless,

Brian Abasciano

Message: 9
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 10:57:50 -0400
From: Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu>
Subject: [b-hebrew] Hebrew grammar books
To: b-hebrew Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Cc: b-hebrew Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <5E7A3F0B-7165-42AE-B9FC-0F26B516FF75 at math.bu.edu>
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I have looked recently in the Hebrew grammar book of Jouon and  
Muraoka and was pleasantly surprised by its occasional display of  
common sense as well as their often manifest healthy scepticism of  
established notions, traits often lacking in the all encompassing  
older book of Gesenius.
Here are two examples:
1. On the shwa they say, on page 50, "Whereas it is common practice  
to speak of two kinds shewa, namely vocalic (mobile) shewa and silent  
(quiescens) shewa, we believe that the shewa is essentially an  
indication for zero vowel", which is the opinion of most Rabbinical  
sources. See for instance the well researched Hebrew grammar book  
Dikdukei Shai, ?????? ?? by ????????, ?????  
2. On the function of the piel form they say, on page 151,  
unfortunately only hesitatingly, haltingly and of two minds,  
"Traditionally it has been considered intensive in meaning. It is to  
be doubted whether there is a direct link between this assumed  
function and the doubling of the second radical". Then they go on to  
say, on page 154, " ... the question how the function of Piel in  
relation to other conjugations, notably Qal should be defined still  
remains one of the major challenges facing Hebrew and Semitic  
linguistics." Here I am really baffled first by this quest for  
DEFINITION, which is arbitrary, and then also by their awe for  
something that should be very clear to any school boy.

Isaac Fried, Boston University 

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