SBL Paper on Object Marking in Biblical Poetry
I will be presenting a paper on the use of object marking in poetry during the Biblical Hebrew Poetry section in the late afternoon session next Monday at SBL. This paper is a first crack at the issue of why poets use object markers so infrequently. My preliminary survey of 30 Psalms shows that the distribution of object marking follows the definiteness and animacy scales as expected, and I conclude that the poets are using DOM naturally, just much less frequently. I propose two possible explanations:
(1) The poets are working with nonstandard or peripheral dialects in which DOM is simply used less frequently than the standard dialect
(2) The discourse structure of poetry does not require object marking to the same extent as prose, particularly narrative, since participant tracking is not as important.
I conclude by applying the method to examples of late poetry with unusually high counts of the object marker.
Here is a draft of the paper I will be reading if you are interested:
Biblical Hebrew Poetry
John Hobbins, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Presiding