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Hebrew Studies 48 (2007) 359 Reviews Indeed, verse 11a conveys both the explicit subject and the inceptive action from which the content of verse 11b flows (cf. Isa 35:10 at p. 74). Also note that, despite Garr’s translation, the prefixed verb in 11b comes at the end of its clause: literally, “About what I do not know they question me” (yˆn…wlDaVvˆy). Is the paragogic nun at the beginning of this verse in some way motivated by the nun of the object suffix at its end? Finally, Garr’s evaluation of the paragogic nun as “semantically nondesiderative” (p. 71) seems overly restrictive given his consideration a page before of nonindicative NE;tˆy_yIm syntagms . Rather than claim that “the desiderative frame overrides the epistemic mood” (p. 70), it might be more accurate to evaluate the paragogic nun verbs as modally neutral (perhaps even as modally unmarked, should the Biblical Hebrew verb system here manifest structuralized oppositions). Paul Korchin University of Alaska, Northwest Campus Nome, AK 99762 korchin@post.harvard.edu A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF THE VERBAL SYSTEM OF CLASSICAL HEBREW: AN ATTEMPT TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN SEMANTIC AND PRAGMATIC FACTORS. By R. J. Furuli. Pp. 508. Oslo: Awatu Publishers, 2006. Paper, 300 NOK. $47.00. In this volume Furuli proposes an entirely new definition of Hebrew verbal aspect. He theorizes that aspect is a function of the interaction of event time, reference time, and the deictic center of events. According to Furuli, event time is “the time from the beginning to the end of an event. This time is non-deictic, because it is not seen in relation to a certain vantage point.” In reference time “the reporter in a way intersects event time and make (sic) a part of event time visible.” Finally, the deictic center is “the vantage point from which an event is seen” (pp. 471–472). This new definition is the result of an analysis of 79,574 verbal forms, in which Furuli seeks to make a strict distinction between semantic (uncancellable ) meaning and conversational pragmatic implicature, or meaning in context. Furuli’s methodological approach is corpus-based. The corpus includes the entire text of the Tanakh, samples from the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ben Sira, and Inscriptions. Furuli detects no change in the semantic meaning of the verbal forms across these texts. Additionally, the corpus includes prose, poetry , and prophetic literature. He observes that semantic meaning of the ver- Hebrew Studies 48 (2007) 360 Reviews bal forms is not affected by genre. Furuli’s distinction between semantic and pragmatic factors results in a redefinition of aspect. He states: The imperfective aspect is a close-up view of a small section of the event where the progressive action is made visible. The perfective aspect is a view, as if from some distance, of a greater part of, or of the whole event, where progressive action is not made visible. (p. 69) While other linguistic studies of Biblical Hebrew offer similar definitions of aspect (e.g., John Cook, “The Hebrew Verb: A Grammaticalization Approach,” ZAH 14 [2001]: 124), Furuli concludes that wayyiqtol is among the imperfective forms, along with yiqtol and weyiqtol, while qatal and weqatal represent the perfective forms. This is, perhaps, the most challenging aspect of the volume. In the first chapter, Furuli presents a review of previous scholarship, analysing the views of various scholars based upon the number of conjugations employed and their meaning. He differentiates between four component models, two component models, tense-based models, aspect-based models, models in which waw is viewed as more than a conjunction and models in which waw is viewed as a normal conjunction. He notes that contemporary scholarship acknowledges four conjugations and various combinations of tense and aspect based understandings. In the second chapter, Furuli presents his view of meaning in language, which is based upon Ogden’s triangle of signification: concept, word, and reference (p. 27). His approach is based upon lexical semantics in that each verb has a lexical meaning and an aktionsart, based upon the Vendlerian categories of state, activity, accomplishment, and achievement (see Z. Vendler, “Verbs and Time,” Philosophical Review 56 [1957]: 143–160). For Furuli, uncancellable semantic features include...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 359-362
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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