The Biblical Hebrew Qatal Verb: A Functional Discourse Grammar Analysis

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Abstract

Functional discourse grammar (FDG) is a theory with a rich descriptive apparatus, facilitating the modeling of language data that takes into account the several tiers of interdependent information that are present in any utterance, namely, interpersonal, representational, syntactic, and expression. The explanatory component of FDG comes through complementary principles of linguistic cause and effect, be they diachronic, synchronic, areal, typological, neurological, and so forth. It is this comprehensiveness that sets it apart from many other theories that tend to predicate- or syntax-centricity. FDG is used to analyze the Biblical Hebrew so-called qatal verb (QV), which is characterized by a high degree of multifunctionality. An FDG analysis of several of its functions is provided and although this analysis is shown to be descriptively robust it is also theoretically problematic in some respects. These broader problems in the description and explanation of QV according to the theory of FDG are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-844
Number of pages20
JournalLinguistics
Volume47
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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