III-h verbs in biblical Hebrew: A study of short and long forms with special attention to the wayyiqtol conjugation
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This dissertation studies III-h verbs in Biblical Hebrew that may be rendered as either short or long in the Hebrew Masoretic text ( wayyiqtol , yiqtol , Imperative). In chapter 1, a general examination of all 5,027 possible verbal forms is conducted and preliminary observations are set forth. In chapter 2 through chapter 6, the 2,299 wayyiqtol verbal forms are submitted to a detailed formal analysis in the following six categories: (1) accent environment; (2) phonetic context; (3) genre; (4) verbal and lexical semantics; (5) diachronic environment; and (6) dialectical environment. In chapter 7, the data is summarized. The analysis of the data in this study suggests that the 118 III-h wayyiqtol long verbal forms that appear in the Hebrew Bible represent a northern dialectical feature (Israelian Hebrew) that was less commonly employed in the south (Judahite Hebrew). The prevalence of the use of the long first person form and the supposed influence of Israelian Hebrew on late biblical Hebrew may explain the increased usage of the long first person form in late biblical Hebrew (especially Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah). Additionally, the data suggests that the long III-h wayyiqtol form corresponds in usage with the non III-h wayyiqtol forms lengthened with the ah suffix ( paragogic h). Before any firm conclusions can be set forth with regard to the meaning or significance of the long III-h form in biblical Hebrew, the data for the yiqtol and Imperative conjugations must be analyzed. However, the dialectically shaped distribution, the preference for the first person, and the correspondence between long III-h and lengthened non III-h verbal forms appears to support a meaning that would correspond to the Semitic ventive or allative.