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Contemporary Examinations of Classical Languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and Greek)


Valency, Lexicography, Grammar, and Manuscripts


Ancient language study is becoming an increasingly sophisticated and complex discipline, as scholars not only consider methods being used by specialists of other languages, but also absorb developments in other disciplines to facilitate their own research investigations. This interdisciplinary approach is reflected in the scope of research papers offered here, invited and peer-reviewed by the ISLP.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0656-7
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Dec 12,2016
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 7 x 10
Page Count: 281
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0656-7
$153.00
$91.80

Ancient language study is becoming an increasingly sophisticated and complex discipline, as scholars not only consider methods being used by specialists of other languages, but also absorb developments in other disciplines to facilitate their own research investigations. This interdisciplinary approach is reflected in the scope of research papers offered here, invited and peer-reviewed by the ISLP.

The volume is presented in three parts.

Part 1: Examining Verbs: Putting Syntax into Lexica and Grammars. Beryl Turner and Jerome Lund demonstrate how the use (or non-use) of certain prepositions impacts on the semantics of some Syriac verbs. In chapters 3 to 5 verbal valency in Biblical Hebrew is examined. Janet Dyk demonstrates how scholars might identify the semantics of a Hebrew verb by examining its co-occurring elements. John A. Cook demonstrates the superiority of a valency approach over traditional grammatical approaches and distinguishes between valency, voice, and transitivity. Nicolai Winther-Nielsen explains how he utilises the theory of Role and Reference Grammar (RRG) to analyse the frequently-used Biblical Hebrew verbs. A. Dean Forbes identifies several theoretical issues that remain unsolved and potentially unsolvable in valency studies.

Part 2: Examining Particles: Lexical Correspondences.Mats Eskhult examines the use of Syriac ܗܳܐ in rendering Hebrew הִנֵּה and Greek ἰδού or ἴδε in the Peshitta to Genesis and the Gospels. Na’ama Pat-El argues that לם/ܠܱܡ is not a quotative marker as commonly assumed but is probably an emphatic adverb.

Part 3: Examining Manuscripts and Text-Critical Matters. Jonathan Loopstra examines patterns of accentuation in BL Add. MS 12138 (the East-Syrian “Masora”). Jeff Childers explores the illicit practice of sortilege as applied to Syriac, Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Armenian versions of John’s Gospel. Alison Salvesen examines how the early seventh century Syriac translator rendered items in the Tabernacle described in Exodus. Johan D. Hofstra provides an extensive study of the sources used by Isho‘dad of Merw in composing his Syriac commentary on the Gospel of John. In the final chapter, Jerome A. Lund demonstrates how Hebrew manuscripts of Isaiah can assist in making emendations to the extant Syriac text of Isaiah. 

Ancient language study is becoming an increasingly sophisticated and complex discipline, as scholars not only consider methods being used by specialists of other languages, but also absorb developments in other disciplines to facilitate their own research investigations. This interdisciplinary approach is reflected in the scope of research papers offered here, invited and peer-reviewed by the ISLP.

The volume is presented in three parts.

Part 1: Examining Verbs: Putting Syntax into Lexica and Grammars. Beryl Turner and Jerome Lund demonstrate how the use (or non-use) of certain prepositions impacts on the semantics of some Syriac verbs. In chapters 3 to 5 verbal valency in Biblical Hebrew is examined. Janet Dyk demonstrates how scholars might identify the semantics of a Hebrew verb by examining its co-occurring elements. John A. Cook demonstrates the superiority of a valency approach over traditional grammatical approaches and distinguishes between valency, voice, and transitivity. Nicolai Winther-Nielsen explains how he utilises the theory of Role and Reference Grammar (RRG) to analyse the frequently-used Biblical Hebrew verbs. A. Dean Forbes identifies several theoretical issues that remain unsolved and potentially unsolvable in valency studies.

Part 2: Examining Particles: Lexical Correspondences.Mats Eskhult examines the use of Syriac ܗܳܐ in rendering Hebrew הִנֵּה and Greek ἰδού or ἴδε in the Peshitta to Genesis and the Gospels. Na’ama Pat-El argues that לם/ܠܱܡ is not a quotative marker as commonly assumed but is probably an emphatic adverb.

Part 3: Examining Manuscripts and Text-Critical Matters. Jonathan Loopstra examines patterns of accentuation in BL Add. MS 12138 (the East-Syrian “Masora”). Jeff Childers explores the illicit practice of sortilege as applied to Syriac, Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Armenian versions of John’s Gospel. Alison Salvesen examines how the early seventh century Syriac translator rendered items in the Tabernacle described in Exodus. Johan D. Hofstra provides an extensive study of the sources used by Isho‘dad of Merw in composing his Syriac commentary on the Gospel of John. In the final chapter, Jerome A. Lund demonstrates how Hebrew manuscripts of Isaiah can assist in making emendations to the extant Syriac text of Isaiah. 

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Contributor Biography

Timothy Martin Lewis

Timothy Martin Lewis is a Greek tutor at Whitley College, University of Divinity (formerly Melbourne College of Divinity). He holds a BA (Mus), Deakin University, a GradDipEd (Primary), Monash University, and a BTheol, University of Divinity where he is currently a PhD candidate with interests in exegesis and translation of the New Testament Gospels (his thesis focuses on contextual meanings for several low-frequency lexemes found in the Peshitta Gospels).

Alison G. Salvesen

Alison Salvesen is Polonsky Fellow in Jewish Bible Versions at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and a University Research Lecturer at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford. Her interests are in early Jewish and Christian translations and exegesis of the Bible.

Beryl Turner

Beryl Turner is co-founder with Terry Falla of the International Syriac Language Project, and works with him on the lexicon A Key to the Peshitta Gospels.

Jerome Lund

Jerome A. Lund (Academic Consultant, Accordance Bible Software) studied Christian theology including New Testament textual criticism and Syriac in the USA (M. Div., Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary) and Semitic philology in Israel (M.A., Ph.D., Hebrew University of Jerusalem). He has published articles on various Aramaic dialects including Syriac and on Hebrew in peer reviewed journals and written a number of encyclopedic type articles. He has also authored and co-authored several books including Aramaic Documents from Egypt, A Key-Word-in-Context Concordance (Eisenbrauns, 2002).

Janet Dyk

Dean Forbes

Na’ama Pat-El

Na’ama Pat-El holds a PhD in Semitic Philology from Harvard University. She is currently an assistant professor for Hebrew linguistics at the University of Texas, Austin. She has previously published on the syntax of the Semitic languages and on contact in the Semitic sphere.

Jonathan Loopstra

Jonathan Loopstra is an Associate Professor of History at University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN. He holds an M.St. degree in Syriac Studies from the University of Oxford, a M.A. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America. He works primarily in the fields of Patristics and Middle Eastern Studies, with a particular interest in the history and theology of various Christian communities of the Middle East.

Jeff Childers

Jeff W. Childers is Carmichael-Walling Professor of New Testament & Early Christianity in the Graduate School of Theology at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. He has a DPhil in Syriac Studies from the University of Oxford and specializes in the literature and history of Oriental Christianity.

John Cook

John A. Cook is Professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary.

Nicolai Winther-Nielsen

Winther-Nielsen is Professor at Fjellhaug International University College Denmark and affiliated researcher of the Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer (ETCBC) at the Faculty of Theology of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Mats Eskhult

Mats Eskhult is a Professor at the Department of Linguistics and Philology at Uppsala University.

Johan Hofstra

Table of Contents (v)

Series Preface (vii)

The Complexity of Simplicity (ix)

Editors and Contributors to this Volume (xi)

Introduction (xiii)

Acknowledgements (xix)

Abbreviations (xxi)

EXAMINING VERBS: PUTTING SYNTAX INTO LEXICA AND GRAMMARS

Chapter 1 Who commits adultery with whom, and why it matters
in a lexicon BERYL TURNER (1)

Chapter 2 Soundings with regard to Verbal Valency in the Peshitta Old Testament JEROME A. LUND (19)

Chapter 3 How do Hebrew Verbs Differ? A Flow Chart of the Differences JANET W. DYK (33)

Chapter 4 Valency: The Intersection of Syntax and Semantics JOHN A. COOK (53)

Chapter 5 How to Classify Hebrew Verbs: Plotting Verb-Specific Roles NICOLAI WINTHER-NIELSEN (67)

Chapter 6 The Proper Role of Valency in Biblical Hebrew Studies A. DEAN FORBES (95)

EXAMINING PARTICLES: LEXICAL CORRESPONDENCES AND LEXICAL  DEVELOPMENTS

Chapter 7 The use of Syriac ܗܐ in rendering Hebrewִ הֵנּה and Greek ἰδού
or ἴδε in the Peshitta to Genesis and the Gospels MATS ESKHULT (113)

Chapter 8 The Function and Etymology of the Aramaic Particle Lm:
A Re-Examination NA’AMA PAT-EL (121)

EXAMINING MANUSCRIPTS AND TEXT-CRITICAL MATTERS

Chapter 9 Exploring Patterns of Accentuation in BL Add. MS 12138
(the East-Syrian “Masora”): Perspectives and Possibilities JONATHAN LOOPSTRA (139)

Chapter 10 Embedded Oracles: Sortilege in a Syriac Gospel Codex JEFF CHILDERS (167)

Chapter 11 The Lexicon of the Tabernacle Accounts in the Syrohexapla Version of Exodus ALISON G. SALVESEN (187)

Chapter 12 Towards a New Critical Edition and Translation of Ishoʿdad of Merw’s Commentary on the Gospel of John with an Identification of his Sources JOHAN D. HOFSTRA (201)

Chapter 13 The Hebrew as a Text Critical Tool in Restoring Genuine
Peshitta Readings in Isaiah JEROME A. LUND (239)

Index (251) 

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