LINGUIST List 9.773

Fri May 22 1998

Disc: Hypotaxis

Editor for this issue: Andrew Carnie <>


  1. Seth, Re: 9.734, Review: Sampson: Educating Eve.

Message 1: Re: 9.734, Review: Sampson: Educating Eve.

Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 11:11:29 -0500
From: Seth <>
Subject: Re: 9.734, Review: Sampson: Educating Eve.

Dear Colleagues,

In response to Feargal Murphy's review of Sampson's Educating Eve,
Just for the record, it appears that in EE Sampson is using criteria of
English grammar in determining whether or not hypotaxis occurs in Biblical
Hebrew. Hypotaxis indeed is frequent in BH, but is formally expressed in a
lexically through more synthetic means, in the form of the participle (BH is
aspectual, the verbal forms expressing perfective or imperfective aspect,
imperative mood, or, with regards to participles, active or passive voice;
as a result of evolution traces of the shift from ASPECT to TENSE already
occur starting with late BH and Mishnaic Hebrew Modern Hebrew uses the
perfective for both the perfect and simple imperfect past, the imperfective
for the future tense and conditional and subjunctive moods, and the active
participle for the present tense; the complex imperfect past is expressed
through the construct "hyh" [perfect of "to be"] + active participle). In
BH, hypotactic subordination is acheived through the use of the participle,
which behaves as a nomen agens, i.e. it can assume the construct state with
another noun, but conveys the same information and assumes the same function
as a subordinate clause. In other Semitic languages, e.g. Akkadian, this
same function is paralleled by the verbal noun. Of course, the only
testimonies we have of both BH and Akkadian are written, but it does not
seem plausible, at least to me, that hypotaxis emerged only as a result of
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