Hebrew Narrative Syntax

I just stumbled across Christo van der Merwe’s overview of the recent study of Hebrew narrative syntax in E. J. van Wolde’s Narrative Syntax and the Hebrew Bible. He discusses many of the issues I have been trying to summarize here. The link will take you to the Google Books page thanks to their nifty new feature. You can also embed the book within your page, but I think my center column is too narrow for that to be useful. I like the new look though, very nice.

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One Comment on “Hebrew Narrative Syntax”

  1. Mike Aubrey Says:

    His description of “functionalism and generativeism” is complete nonsense, though (page 4). He’s confusing transformational grammar with generative grammar. They’re not the same thing. John Lyons is helpful here on this distinction between generative and transformational grammars.

    “[A] generative grammar is not necessarily a transformational grammar. The terms ‘generative’ and ‘transformational’ are frequently confused, because they were introduced into linguistics at the same time by Chomsky….[T]he term ‘generative’ is usually understood to combine two distinguishable senses: (i) ‘projective (or ‘predictive’); and (ii) ‘explicit’ (‘formal’ v. ‘informal’).”
    (Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968], 155.)

    Generative grammar can be fully “Functional” in the sense that van der Merwe is describing. Role and Reference Grammar, Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, and Lexical-Functional Grammar are all wonderful examples of grammars being both Generative (i.e. predicative and explicit) as well as focuing on grammar being determined by use in a communicative context.


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