Minor Pausal Forms and their Function

In: Vetus Testamentum
E. J. Revell University of Toronto

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Minor pausal forms do not attract much attention from Biblical grammarians. They are briefly described by some, ignored by others (including, as far as I can determine, ehll). No specific function has ever been attributed to these forms. It is generally assumed that the accent marked on them engenders the features which justify the name ‘minor’ pausal forms. This paper describes these forms comprehensively, It shows that their most common function is to mark the end of the first of a pair of structures which are treated together as a semantic unit. It further shows that the syntax of the forms justifies the use of the term ‘minor’. The less common function of the forms confirms that they are used in situations in which a pausal form is appropriate, but which are not sufficiently prominent to support a standard pausal form.

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