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Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 173 Reviews more serious problem is Hanson's inclination to regard the early fonns the Israelite community as nonnative for all later periods. He sees the diversity within the Jewish community during the post-exilic period as a problem rather than as a sign of theological maturity and creativity. The most serious drawback for the reader is Hanson's ponderous style of writing. Simpler, more straightforward rhetoric would help the reader appreciate the value of this basically very fme effort to help believers today understand the biblical idea of community. It would also shorten the length of the book and make its price more reasonable. Leslie J. Hoppe Catholic Theological Union Chicago, IL 60615 THE FUNCTION AND USE OF THE IMPERFECT FORMS WITH NUN PARAGOGICUM IN CLASSICAL HEBREW. By Jacob Hoftijzer. Studia Semitica Neerlandica 21. pp. 144. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1985. Paper. This monograph is intended to illustrate the author's approach to the analysis of the ancient Hebrew language. It consists of citations of the particular verbal forms being studied according to specific syntactical environments. These are grouped logically and presented in transcription. Such a catalogue of examples may prove useful to others, whether they agree with Hoftijzer's basic assumptions or not. The research was limited to a specific kind of verbal fonn, namely, that with nun paragogicum. These are mainly 3mp, ylqt:lll1n, and 2mp, tlqt:lll1n, with a few 2fs fonns, tlqt:lITn. There are 304 such forms in the Hebrew Bible as against more than 6600 forms without the nun ending. It is Hoftijzer's intention to show what semantic distinction, if any, attached to the use of these special forms. Two commendable decisions were made concerning the sorting of the materials: (1) to deal with poetic and related contexts separately from prose, and (2) to divide the prose examples in accordance with the generally accepted literary sources (Le., J, E, D, P, JK, etc.). The outcome is a useful diachronic and synchronic picture of when these forms are employed and by whom. Of special note is their frequency in the D and Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 174 Reviews related material (e.g., Jeremiah) and their absence in P. A suggestion for this historical situation will be made below. Although Hoftijzer seems to recognize that the forms with nun paragogicum are in fact special representations of the imperfect-that is, of the indicative present-future-he reveals at the beginning (p. 1) that his grasp of the diachronic development of the prefix conjugations is incomplete. He completely ignores the evidence of Amarna Canaanite. He holds that the original prefix patterns were: yaqtulu, yaqtula, yaqtu/, yaqtulan. and perhaps yaqtulanna. In other words, he is following the Classical Arabic system. He is aware that the forms with nun paragogicum belong to the yaqtulu pattern as against the yaqtula and yaqtul. On the basis of the modal system in the Amarna texts from Canaan, it would appear that there were six original prefix patterns in early Northwest Semitic: INDICATIVE Preterite Imperfect Energic yaqtu/, -0 yaqtulu, -ana yaqtulun(nJa INJUNcrIVE Jussive Volitive Energic yaqtu/, -a yaqtula, -a yaqtulan(nJa The forms with nun paragogicum in the Hebrew Bible reflect the plural of the indicative imperfect. They are absent in the preterite, the jussive, and the volitive. Evidence is lacking for the indicative and injunctive energies. The short vowel of the -an(a) and the -Tn(a) has dropped. This long ending for the 2fs, the 3mp, and the 2mp is present in Ugaritic and Old Aramaic but absent in Phoenician, Moabite, and ancient Hebrew inscriptions as well as in most of the Hebrew Bible (A. Rainey, "The Ancient Prefix Conjugation in the Light of Amarnah Canaanite," HS 27 [1986]:4-19). Grammarians have long been aware that the forms with nun paragogicum are functioning as indicative imperfects. The injunctives Gussive and volitive) do not have them, and neither does the indicative preterite. Hoftijzer notes (pp. 3-4) that there are 3734 instances of what this reviewer prefers to call the preterite continuative (yaqtul preceded by wa:) without nun paragogicum as against eleven (but I only counted nine references on p. 4!) cases where the nun...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 173-176
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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