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Hebrew Studies 41 (2000) 227 Reviews various constructions is analyzed and interpreted will be of considerable interest to teachers of biblical Hebrew as well as to scholars. J. Glen Taylor Toronto School o/Theology Toronto, ON Canada jgtaylor@chass.utoronto.ca MODERN HEBREW FOR BIBLICAL SCHOLARS. By Takamitsu Muraoka. Weisbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. 1998. pp. xlv + 183. Paper. 48.00DM. This book constitutes a revised and enlarged edition of a work published by the author in 1982. The first thirty pages of the book (pp. xvi-xlv) are introductory in nature. providing an outline of modern Hebrew grammar. They focus mainly on the following topics: a) the components of modern Hebrew in terms of spelling and pronunciation; b) morphology, focusing on the diverse kinds and functions of the modern Hebrew pronoun (personal . suffixal. demonstrative. relative. reflexive. emphatic, interrogative. indefmite. and comparative). the noun, the adjective, the verb. the adverb, and the preposition; c) syntax. which includes inter alia a discussion of the nominal clause and copula. word order. modal expressions. diverse kinds of clauses (relative. circumstantial. and conditional); d) rhetorics and pragmatics. including discourse markers and abbreviations. The object of this introductory grammatical outline, the author stresses. is not meant to teach basic Hebrew grammar per se, but rather to "highlight the major differences in linguistic structure between Biblical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew as is used in a specific literary genre. namely, academic and scholarly writings." (p. xi). The heart of the book constitutes a chrestomathy of 28 texts (pp. 2-137). divided into three sections: Hebrew and Semitic linguistics (13 texts). general biblical studies (10 texts). and Palestinian archaeology (5 texts). Each text is extensively annotated. They include texts of C. Rabin. Joshua Blau, H. Yalon, E. Y. Kutscher. M. H. Goshen-Gottstein. A. Hurvitz. Z. Ben-l:Iayyim. Sh. Morag. Sh. Talmon, H. Yeivin, E. Tov, J. Gutman, Y. Kaufmann, N. H. Tur-Sinai. A. Malamat, M. Haran, U. Cassuto, J. Licht, Y. Aharoni. B. Mazar, Y. Yadin, H. Tadmor and Sh. Ahituv. and P. Artzi. The texts are extensively annotated; English transla- Hebrew Studies 41 (2000) 228 Reviews tion for only three of them is provided. The first text of each of the three sections is fully vocalized, while others are partially vocalized, the extent of the vocalization decreasing gradually. The book ends with a HebrewEnglish glossary (pp. 140-183). One wonders as to the justification for yet another book on Hebrew grammar, morphology, and syntax when numerous detailed and in-depth studies in these areas have been published by Israeli scholars in Hebrew, parts of which, as the author admits, are available in West-European languages . The author seems to have anticipated such a question on the part of readers. The main objective of this work, he rationalizes, is to meet the needs of those Hebraists, Biblical scholars and Semiticists to whom "unpointed Hebrew publications remain a terra incognita." This book, he hopes, will help make these works accessible to non-Hebrew readers. Indeed, the author painstakingly and commendably takes the reader through a discussion of almost every aspect of Hebrew grammar, including its components and usage in comparison with biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew . The grammatical outline includes discussion on conjugations (binyanTm), inflection of verbs, dagesh lene and dagesh forte, distinction between shewa mobile and shewa quiescent, proclitic particles, diverse kinds of pronouns, subordinate clauses, cognate objects, asyndetic relative clauses, etc.-all with good examples from modem Hebrew. I have detected some errors in the book. Here are a few of them: In his discussion of biblical words and idioms which have fallen into disuse, the author states that the word ID'M "is only rarely used in the sense of man (= male), for which -ol is the nonnal expression" (p. xvii). I fmd this statement to be inaccurate. In addition to the meaning of male, the word ,:u carries in modem Hebrew the connotation of a person with qualities conventionally regarded as manly, such as strength and courage. The word ~R is far from being rare when referring to an adult male; in fact, it is rather common. The author's discussion of modem Hebrew pronunciation (pp. xviii-xx) seems to reflect an earlier linguistic situation...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 227-229
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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