Expect the Unexpected: Aspects of Pragmatic Foregrounding in Old Testament Narratives

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Authors: Peter Bekins 1 and Alexander T. Kirk 2. Restricted Access. Add to Cart.

The Israelite Woman: Social Role and Literary Type in Biblical Narrative

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Content Metrics. Terms and Conditions Privacy Statement. Powered by: PubFactory. The second section of chapter 7, after a short criticism of H. Weinrich's theory of the narrative use of tenses, proceeds with a survey of the alleged use of the imperfect and the participle as the historic present in Semitic languages. According to Cottrozzi's review, the existence of the historic present was proposed for many Semitic languages but it is probable only in Neo-Aramaic.

Chapter 8 evaluates the claim that the imperfect is used in Biblical Hebrew as the historic present. Since the pattern of use of the imperfect does not match the features characteristic for the historic present in other languages, Cotrozzi concludes that the imperfect should not be interpreted as the historic present. Chapter 9 investigates J.


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With a methodology similar to the one used in chapter 9, the author arrives at a similar conclusion: the participle is not the Biblical Hebrew historic present. The thesis of A. Berlin and M. Sternberg that this syntagm functions as a marker of free indirect speech that is, a description of a character's perception of the external world is accepted and supported with additional arguments.

As is the case with every other study concentrated on literature, Cotrozzi's interpretations and conclusions can be contested. Unfortunately I find myself often in disagreement with his grammatical and narrative-literary analysis of the selected texts. Some examples shall illustrate the nature of my objections. Both these forms can and probably should be understood as the perfect. Since the understanding of these forms as the present is crucial in Cotrozzi's analysis, one expects an explanation why they should not be parsed as the perfect.

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A similar problem occurs in Cotrozzi's reading of a short passage in Rabbinic Hebrew p. In this example Cotrozzi argues that the use of the participle as the historic present conforms to a cross-linguistic pattern. In fact, cross-linguistically the historic present often advances the plot and occurs frequently with the verbs of speech. The occurrence of these participles requires, of course, a modification in Cotrozzi's analysis of the passage.

Similarly, some analyses of selected passages from the Hebrew Bible are questionable. Enter your access token to activate and access content online. Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.

How Does Narrative Teach Theology and Ethics?

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PDF Preview. Table of Contents. Related Content. Elizabeth Robar's analysis provides the best solution to this point, combining cognitive linguistics, cross-linguistics, diachronic and synchronic analysis. Her solution is brilliant, innovative, and supremely satisfying in interpreting all the data with great explanatory power.


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  • Let us hope this research will be quickly implemented in grammars of Hebrew. Gentry , Donald L. In The Verb and the Paragraph in Biblical Hebrew , Elizabeth Robar employs cognitive linguistics to unravel the notorious grammatical quandary in biblical Hebrew: explaining the waw consecutive, as well as other poorly understood verbal forms e.



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