Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Grammar does matter

Is the presence of the volitive yiqtol in Samuel a coincidence, or should we suspect a scribal tradition in which the volitive functions of the yiqtol (< yaqtula) were well known? Could the scribes of Samuel have been familiar with the Hebrew volitive yaqtula while the scribes of other books expressed volition strictly through the jussive, imperative, and cohortative? Since a concentration of “volitive followed by yiqtol” is found in Samuel, I advocate for a literary style peculiar to a specific scribal tradition rather than suggesting emendations for all the passages traditionally interpreted as textual errors. The scribes of Samuel, who were certainly familiar with the Canaanite volitive yaqtula, give us a glimpse into their understanding of the modal system of Hebrew.—The Syntax of Volitives in Biblical Hebrew and Amarna Canaanite Prose, page 141

<idle musing>
See, grammar really can make a difference! Now, we'll see if BHQ takes note of it whenever they finally get around to Samuel. As an aside, is there significance in the fact that the home page of the project itself is blank? I hope not!

And, by extension, will HBCE take note of it?
</idle musing>

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