Participles in Context: Form, Function, and Frequency

  • Dyk, J. W. (Speaker)
  • D. Bakker (Speaker)
  • M.E. Kaajan (Speaker)
  • M. Naaijer (Speaker)

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic


Having in their morphology both verbal and nominal aspects, participles can function governed by a head of a nominal or prepositional phrase (phrase level), as a head of a clause constituent (clause level), or as a main verb alongside other verbal forms in a text (text-hierarchical level). By means of the Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer database, the distribution of all participle constructions in the Hebrew Bible will be charted as to their functioning at the aforementioned syntactic levels. A single set of linguistic rules accounts for the behavior of the participle in all contexts. This set can be used to gauge the relative frequency of the various syntactic functions of the participle throughout the Hebrew Bible. Only after quantifying the presence and frequencies of a broad set of structures evidencing variation in Biblical Hebrew is it permissible to hypothesize as to the reasons for the differences. Once inventoried, the data can be searched for clustering of characteristics which could point to a specific explanation for the differing proportions in which the syntactic possibilities are used.
Period22 Nov 2014
Event titleSociety of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting
Event typeLecture