One More Look at the Negation of the Infinitive Construct in Second Temple Hebrew

in Vetus Testamentum
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Second Temple Hebrew (Late Biblical Hebrew, Ben Sira, and Qumranic Hebrew) makes predicative use of two seemingly similar constructions: לא + infinitive and אין + infinitive. A syntactic examination of the two from a historical perspective, in light of morphosyntactic changes in the verbal system of Second Temple Hebrew and its sentence patterns, reveals that in spite of the similarities between them in form and in function, these are two seperate constructions that evolved independently. The former, initially a verbal phrase, is the negative counterpart of the affirmative predicative infinitive, and the latter, which constitutes a complete predication, is an offshoot of the existential pattern יש/אין + nominal phrase. In the Hebrew style of the Second Temple period the difference between them narrowed, so that they were occasionally interchangeable.

One More Look at the Negation of the Infinitive Construct in Second Temple Hebrew

in Vetus Testamentum

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References

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3

E.g. Kropat p. 78; Leahy p. 142; Kesterson p. 231; Yifrach p. 278 and n. 11 (but she claims using generative phrasing that in its deep structure the infinitive contains a subject and a predicate). A more nuanced discussion is offered by van Peursen 2004 p. 250. Eliezer Rubinstein (see Qimron and Strugnell p. 81) goes as far as attributing the same syntactic structure to the construction לא + infinitive.

4

Kieviet 1999p. 23.

5

Qimron 1986p. 71; Eskhult p. 91. See also Kieviet 1999 p. 9 and n. 2.

7

Kieviet 1999p. 24.

10

Yifrach p. 278; Ehrensvärd pp. 156-157.

11

Van Peursen 1999p. 228 n. 39; the translation offered here is identical to his. See also van Peursen 2004 p. 252 which offers a very similar translation. Skehan and Di Lella p. 242: “Bring not everyone into your house”.

12

E.g. Kieviet 1999pp. 21 23; Hurvitz.

13

Mor 2008pp. 238-239.

14

Qimron 1986pp. 77-78; Mor forthcoming §5.43.

16

See the discussion in van Peursen 1999pp. 229-230.

18

See Sokoloff p. 74.

20

Cohen 2013pp. 211-212. See also the Qumranic examples discussed in Ariel pp. 33-39.

25

Cohen 2013p. 212.

26

See van Peursen 2004p. 252 and n. 71.

31

Cohen 2005p. 80. This link is also realised in ancient Greek (Kutscher p. תג).

33

See Kieviet 1999p. 23; Swiggers p. 178.

34

Cf. in Rabbinic Hebrew: Sharvit 2008pp. 255-256 (e.g. יש לי ללמד עליו זכות ‘I have somewhat to argue [or: I can argue] in favor of his acquittal’ [Mishna Sanhedrin 5:4]) and in Modern Hebrew with comparison to Modern English: Kuzar pp. 97-99 110-113 (e.g. יש לי לכתוב חיבור באנגלית ‘I have an English essay to write’).

37

Ben-Ḥayyim p. 83. On the fluidity of the distinction between different types of modality see e.g. Nuyts p. 16.

38

Baasten p. 10.

39

Kieviet 1999p. 24.

41

Qimron 1986p. 78.

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