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Root: Modern Notions

(2,194 words)

Author(s): Zewi, Tamar
A root in Hebrew, as in all Semitic languages, is a lexical derivational morpheme made up of a non-continuous sequence of radicals, which, in combination with derivational morphological patterns made up of vowels and, possibly, additional prefixes and suffixes, creates words. Hebrew roots, like all Semitic roots, are prevalently triradical, namely they contain three radicals, which are mostly consonantal, but can also be semi-vowels or vowels that are products of weakening of laryngeals. Unlike …

Relative Clause: Modern Hebrew

(2,646 words)

Author(s): Zewi, Tamar
A relative clause is an attributive clause that qualifies a nominal or a pronominal head, and includes an overt or covert pronominal element referring to the head. The pronominal element referring to the head serves as a link between the head and the relative clause. Since an attributive relative clause is endocentric, namely, it always contains an overt or covert pronoun, it forms, together with the lexical attributive content, an attributive syntactic relation. When a relative clause is syndet…

Collectives: Modern Hebrew

(372 words)

Author(s): Zewi, Tamar
Collective Nouns are singular nouns which denote a group as a whole or a set of uncountable individual entities. Such nouns are usually marked morphologically as singular. Collective nouns in Hebrew may be formed by the omission of a feminine ending from a singular count noun, e.g., אֳניה ʾoniya ‘ship’—ending a(t) > collective noun אֳני ʾoni ‘fleet’. Other collective nouns are formed in the reverse direction, by adding a feminine ending to a regular singular count noun, e.g., דג dag ‘(a) fish’ + a(t) > collective דגה daga ‘fish as a collective’ (Schwarzwald [Rodrigue] 2002:25). Sy…

Exceptive Construction

(822 words)

Author(s): Zewi, Tamar
The term ‘exceptive construction’ denotes a dependent clause or phrase which restricts, excludes, or opposes parts of the content of a preceding main clause. Although constructions conveying all three of these meanings have the same structure in Biblical Hebrew, those which express opposition are sometimes regarded as adversative, and are accordingly treated together with other adversative constructions, which in Biblical Hebrew are usually introduced by particles whose meaning is ‘but’, e.g., אוּלָם ʾūlå̄m, אֲבָל ʾăḇå̄l, and also the conjunction -וְ wə- (on the confusion am…

Directive He

(1,494 words)

Author(s): Zewi, Tamar
The directive (locative) - ̄å[h], also known as He locale, is a mostly unstressed - ̄å[h] suffix attached to Biblical Hebrew common and proper place nouns that generally expresses direction and occasionally location. Examples of common nouns accompanied by this suffix are, e.g., וַיָּבֹ֥א הַחַ֖דְרָה way-yå̄ḇō ha-ḥaḏrå̄ ‘he entered his chamber’ (Gen. 43.30); עֲלֵ֣ה לְךָ֣ הַיַּ֔עְרָה ʿălē ləḵå̄ hay-yaʿrå̄ ‘go up to the forest’ (Josh. 17.15), both with the definite article, and עֲל֤וּ כַרְמֶ֙לָה֙ ʿălū ḵarmεlå̄ ‘go up to Carmel’ (1 Sam. 25.5); מְשִׁיבֵ֥י מִלְחָמָ֖ה שָֽׁעְרָה məšīḇē milḥå̄…

Nominal Clause

(6,737 words)

Author(s): Zewi, Tamar
1. Introduction Narrowly defined, clauses are nominal if their predicate is a noun and not a verb. A broader definition regards any clause whose predicate is any part of speech other than a verb as a nominal clause. Such a predicate can be a noun, an adjective, an adverb, a particle, a prepositional phrase, or even a certain type of clause. In line with this definition, nominal clauses are also called ‘non-verbal’ or ‘verbless’ clauses. The latter term implies an analysis according to which a copu…

Syntax: Biblical Hebrew

(7,733 words)

Author(s): Zewi, Tamar
1. Introduction In the following survey the syntactic structure of Biblical Hebrew is primarily presented through a description of the realization of the three basic grammatical relations, the attributive, the predicative, and the objective. These syntactic relations are clearly reflected in the Semitic case system, which marks the different syntactic status of attributes, subjects/predicates, and objects/adverbials by three distinct vowels: i, u, and a, respectively (Goldenberg 1998b). From this case system only vestiges have survived in Biblical Hebrew. Phrases like חַֽיְ…

Content Clauses

(1,902 words)

Author(s): Zewi, Tamar
Content clauses are subordinate clauses which substitute for nouns in a sentence and provide their content. The term ‘content clause’ itself was coined by Jespersen, who preferred it to terms like ‘noun clause’ and ‘substantive clause’. In his opinion, while types other than content clauses, such as relative and certain interrogative clauses, can also substitute for nouns, they do not provide their content. Jespersen was also opposed to defining a clause by the word classes which it could replac…