Midwest SBL paper

The Midwest Region of the SBL will be meeting February 12-14 in Valparaiso, IN, and I have had a paper accepted to the Hebrew Bible and Early Interpretive Literature section. Here is the abstract:

The Use of the Definite Article for Frame-Based Reference in Biblical Hebrew

The grammars treat the use of the definite article in Biblical Hebrew as straightforward, corresponding closely to its use in English and Greek. However, there are also some significant variations. Most difficult are first-mention uses where the article accompanies an unknown participant being introduced for the first time. In this paper, I will argue that many of these examples can be explained by the cognitive idea of frame-based reference. A frame is the set of general knowledge that is invoked by the mention of a particular entity or situation. In this manner, the members of the frame are treated as if they had been introduced directly and can be referenced using a definite noun phrase.

Come one, come all!

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4 Comments on “Midwest SBL paper”

  1. Terry L Eves Says:

    Congratulations on acceptance. Will the paper be available later for those of us who are in another region of SBL?

  2. Peter Bekins Says:

    Don’t worry, I’ll post a copy here after the conference.

  3. David Kummerow Says:

    Nice subject and well worth researching! I like the idea of definite construal against semantic frames for these so-called indefinite examples.

    I’d be worthwhile interacting with the following if you haven’t already done so:

    Ehrensvärd, Martin. 1999. “An Unusual Use of the Definite Article in Biblical and Post-Biblical Hebrew.” Pages 68-76 in Sirach, Scrolls, and Sages: Proceedings of a Second International Symposium on the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ben Sira, and the Mishnah, Held at Leiden University, 15-17 December 1997. Edited by T. Muraoka and J. F. Elwolde. Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah 33. Leiden: Brill.

    Ehrensvärd, Martin. 2000. “Determination of the Noun in Biblical Hebrew.” Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 14: 301-314.

    Ehrensvärd, Martin. 2000. “Studies in the Syntax and the Dating of Biblical Hebrew.” PhD diss., University of Aarhus.

    Müller, Augustin R. 1991. “Zu den Artikelfunktionen im Hebräischen.” Pages 313-329 in Text, Methode, und Grammatik: Wolfgang Richter zum 65. Geburtstag. Edited by Walter Gross, Hubert Irsigler, and Helmut Satzinger. St. Ottilien: EOS Verlag.


  4. Peter Bekins Says:

    David, thank you for the bibliography, I’ll check it out.

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