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Title: Major Poems of the Hebrew Bible at the Interface of Hermeneutics and Structural Analysis
Written By: Jan P. Fokkelman
Series Title: Studia Semitica Neerlandica, 37

Volume II of Major Poems of the Hebrew Bible deals with 85 Psalms (83
poems) and the poems in Job 4-14, and aims at presenting an integrated
prosodical theory which is able to bypass the highly controversial question
of metrics. There are two approaches which initially are kept apart on
grounds of method: structural analysis and the counting of the original,
i.e. pre-Masoretic, syllables. Each poem receives a compact description of
structure which gives a reasoned delimitation of cola, verses, and
strophes. In a separate operation, the syllable counts for each word,
colon, verse, strophe, stanza, section and poem are recorded in a
comprehensive Appendix. All the poems under discussion show a precise
integer as the average of syllables per colon. For half of them this is
8.00, the others have either 7.00 or 9.00. The 9.00 is a ceiling: there is
no Psalm with a higher average. Combining the two approaches, the author
shows that the poets themselves did count their syllables, and how they
were able to mesh the syllable figures with the structural units of their
compositions in a virtuoso combination. The greatest challenge of this
enterprise is to delimit and objectify the correct colometry for all the
songs, as the figure of syllables per colon depends on the right amount of
cola. There are only about 30 Psalms which have a cola figure that can be
considered beyond doubt. Fortunately, in the Book of Job the correct number
of cola is certain.

Publication Year: 1998
Publisher: Brill
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Phonology
Text/Corpus Linguistics
Ling & Literature
Subject Language(s): Hebrew, Ancient

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9023233670
ISBN-13: 9789023233671
Pages: 216
Prices: Europe EURO 66.00
U.S. $ 98.00