Language System, Translation Technique, and Textual Tradition in the Peshitta of Kings


Using the VU University syntactically analyzed, hiearchically structured database of ancient languages, the authors compared the Masoretic text of Kings to the Syriac Peshitta translation. The core question in this comparison is: which deviations between the two texts are related to the requirements of the distinct language systems, which are related to other aspects of the translation process, and which are related to the transmission history of the translated text? Though linguistic and text-historical approaches differ in method and focus, research into ancient biblical translations must take both into account. On the basis of a synoptic matching at clause level, corresponding phrases within the clauses are matched, and corresponding words within phrases. A choice out of a wealth of detailed differences thus brought to light are discussed at the syntactic level at which the phenomenon best fits: word, phrase, clause and above the clause.
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Biographical Note

Janet W. Dyk, Ph.D. (1994), VU University, is senior lecturer in Bible translation and syntactic analyst working with the VU database of ancient languages. Her publications apply linguistics to the analysis of ancient Semitic texts, including The Computer and Complex Phrase Structure: A Unified Approach to Embedding, Gapping and Recursion (Gorgias, 2010). Percy S.F. van Keulen, Ph.D. (1995), Leiden University, participated in several research projects as a post-doctoral fellow. He has published on the Deuteronomistic History and the Septuagint, Peshitta and Targum of Kings, including Two Versions of the Solomon Narrative (Brill, 2005).


Any scholar interested in the translation and transmission of texts, in the combination of computer science, linguistics and text-historical methods, and in translation universals exhibited in an ancient translation.