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Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 156 Reviews reinforces the petition. Verses 28-32 are a final (and eschatological) interpretation. Ps 18 is usually taken as a preexilic royal thanksgiving or victory hymn. Gerstenberger allows that the psalm is a reworking of older traditions, but the reflective air, the wisdom influence, and communal liturgical orientation indicate that it is a messianic thanksgiving song of the Jewish community "very probably" used in the synagogal worship of the postexilic period. Even Pss 20 and 21, which traditional exegesis has associated with Judean kingship, are interpreted in surprising ways. Ps 20 is a "small-scale liturgy concerned about afflictions of a local congregation" (p. 105). Ps 21 "would have its origin in synagogal worship" (p. 107). The above snippets are perhaps unfair to the author. His conclusions are contrary to current views of modem scholarship, but they are not outrageous or extreme as they might first appear. Gerstenberger's earlier work, especially Der bittende Mensch (1980), undergirds many of his statements. Much can be learned from his careful analysis of structures, formulas, and settings. It is necessary for the reader to work through a given psalm; then even if one disagrees, one is stimulated by the larger and often surprising perspective in which the psalm is viewed. Finally, the work corresponds to the increased sensitivity to contextual interpretation in the modem exegetical approaches. The volume contributes greatly to such views by pointing out successive reinterpretations of prayers that are unremittingly open-ended. Roland E. Murphy Emeritus. Duke University Chapel Hill. NC 27706 THE GRAMMAR OF MODERN HEBREW. By Lewis Glinert. pp. xxviii + 580. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1989. Cloth. The publication of Lewis Glinert's Hebrew grammar is truly a milestone in the (short) history of Modem Hebrew (MH) linguistics. As Chaim Rabin puts it (on the jacket), it constitutes "the first general presentation of the spoken language of educated native Hebrew speakers." It provides a wealth of data; with an improved index, the detailed classification and numerous insights into the various subcategories make this volume an important source of information for general linguists, Hebraists, and students of Hebrew. Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 157 Reviews The structure of the volume. The book consists of forty-two chapters, followed by fairly elaborate endnotes, a bibliography, and a brief index. Most of the volume is devoted to a description of the major syntactic structures of Hebrew; the last five chapters provide a sketch of MH morphology . Pages vii-xxiii consist of a detailed table of contents. The first four chapters are sketchy (pp. 1-11) and contain only hints of information on the status of Israeli Hebrew, the data, and the methods of description used in the book. They must have been intended merely to set the sociolinguistic and historical background-just as the three pages devoted to pronunciation and the single paragraph on the difference between fast and slow speech were not meant as a description of Hebrew phonology, but serve only to define the conventions for transcription and phonetic representation. The phonetic transcription is reliably consistent (note that all illustrations below follow Glinert's transcription conventions), with the exception of 1'/ (used whether it derives from an original glottal stop, aleph, or from a voiced pharyngeal fricative, Cayin), which in Israeli Hebrew may be realized phonetically only before a (heavily) stressed vowel. Although it may reflect variation in actual recordings, depending on degree of emphasis, the transcription of 1'/ does not appear to be systematic : sha'a "hour," me'at "hundreds" (p. 46), mle'ey "full of (mp)" (p. 47), me'iI "coat" (p. 48), na'ivi "naive" (p. 482)-versus just as many cases in which a stressed vowel is not preceded by 1'/, for example, ha-ir "the city" (p. 141), motsi la-or "publisher" (p.442), ha-ele "these" (p. 46), efo "where" (p. 60), ish "man" (p. 457). The transcription le'itim "occasionally ," where 1'/ is not in a stressed syllable, is definitely an error. The rest of the book (over ninety-eight percent of it) describes the syntax of words, phrases, and a variety of constructions. The author begins with a survey of various parts of speech: definite articles, pronouns, quantifiers...


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