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Vow Formulae: Biblical Hebrew

(2,658 words)

Author(s): Naudé, Jacobus A.
A vow is a sacred voluntary and conditional promise to dedicate oneself or members of one’s family or community to a special obligation that goes beyond usual social or religious requirements. Vows are explicitly voluntary, but once made, vows become binding. Hence, vows often involve promises of tangible gifts (frequently a sacrifice) to a deity if that deity responds positively to the petition of the individual (a wish granted, a danger escaped, or a difficult undertaking accomplished) or a pr…


(3,364 words)

Author(s): Naudé, Jacobus A.
A noun or noun phrase is subject to replacement by a pronoun (that is, pronominalization) or omission (that is, pronominalization by deletion)—sometimes optionally, sometimes obligatory—if it is not specified as new; that is, if it conveys old information. The rationale is obvious. If a noun conveys old information, there is no need for the speaker to repeat it in its entirety. Pronominalization serves as a short-hand reference to nouns or noun phrases mentioned in the discourse and establishes their identity-of-reference by grammatical agreement (e.g., English he, she, their, h…

Dative: Biblical Hebrew

(2,412 words)

Author(s): Naudé, Jacobus A.
The dative is one of the case forms taken by a noun phrase (often a single noun or pronoun) in languages which express grammatical relationships by means of inflections (Butt 2006:12–22). The dative case typically expresses an indirect object relationship, or a range of meanings similar to that covered by to or for in English, but there is a great deal of variation between languages in the way this case is used. English itself does not have a dative case form, but expresses the notion of indirect object using prepositions and word order, for example he gave a book to the boy. Dative refers to t…

Negation: Pre-Modern Hebrew

(6,711 words)

Author(s): Naudé, Jacobus A. | Rendsburg, Gary A.
Biblical Hebrew possesses a series of negative particles, each used to negate a specific grammatical form or syntagma. Two different types of negators may be identified: (a) those used in sentential negation; and (b) those used in constituent negation (see especially Snyman 2004, based on Minimalist Syntax). For a different model, which posits three different types (item negation, constituent negation, and clausal negation), see Waltke and O’Connor 1990:657. Sentential negation implies that the negative form has scope over the whole subsequent phrase or sequence…