Monday, May 11, 2015

Word order, summary

It was shown that preposing for focus in BH relates to an activated but not necessarily presupposed proposition. Despite the fact that BH focused clauses are often rendered with a cleft sentence in English, the English constructions most equivalent to BH focusing are focusing by accent marking and preposing (in the casual register), both of which relate to activated propositions. The presupposition/activation distinction clarifies several important points regarding BH preposing for focus, including the fact that yes-no questions and commands, which often do not involve presupposition, may be focused. The distinction also helps to explain how additive focusing by preposing differs from focusing by גם, an adverb that can relate to a presupposed but non-activated proposition. It also explains why some focus-of-negation clauses cannot be appropriately translated with an English negative cleft sentence: because clefts relate to presupposed information, a cleft is an appropriate translation for focus-of- negation only when the relevant activated proposition happens to be presupposed as well.— Word Order in the Biblical Hebrew Finite Clause, page 168

<idle musing>
Well, that's the final post from the book. I hope you enjoyed the ride enough to read it for yourself. Andrew tells me that they are about to issue a paperback version with corrections, so if you are like me and prefer a hardback, you'd better act fast!

I'm not sure what I'll be excerpting from next—although I'm currently excerpting from three other books, so maybe with the increase in my schedule during the summer, I'll just let it stay at three. The last few books I read weren't very amenable to excerpting.
</idle musing>

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