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#1 Daniel Semler

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 11:00 PM

Hi ya,

 

  This is probably one for Robert Holmstedt given the question arises directly from your explanatory PDF on the syntax module, not that I'm averse to anyone else answering this.

 

  I was reading http://www.accordanc...brew Syntax.pdfwhich appears to be an elaboration of the earlier Holmstedt_Paper.pdf and I have a couple of questions. I'm trying to get my head around the theoretical model of the syntax db in order to be better able to use it. Currently I own the Greek but as my Hebrew progresses I am likely to get the Hebrew one. I realise there are some divergences in the DBs but I trust they don't extend deeply into the theoretical underpinnings.

 

  1. Is there a reasonable, and hopefully moderately accessible, introduction to minimalist generative grammars that you would recommend as appropriate to gaining some understanding of the dominant theory in this DB ? I'm not trained in linguistics by the way.

 

  2. In the papers above there is some syntax used in explanations that is not itself explained. I'll drop in a couple of quotes and perhaps you can explain the usage there.

 

Ellipsis is dealt with similarly, although it also involves the combination
of the cross-referencing numeral with a null tag (0) marking the place of the
elided constituent, as in (10)
( חֲמוֹר אֵבוּס בְּעָלָיו ( 10 " הוּ ו # נ) ע שׁוֹר &! י
[ [ 01 knows ox owner=its ] [ and=ass 01 trough.of master=its ] ]
'an ox knows its owner // and an ass (knows) its master’s trough' (Isa 1:3)

 

  The line I've marked in bold with it's use of owner=its and and=ass and master=its. Could you explain the = sign is indicating here ?

 

This is the case with many proper nouns, such as בֵּית לֶֶחם Bethlehem ‘House of Bread’, but
also true of complex prepositions, such as מֵעַל פְּנֵי , which is decomposable morphologically as
‘from.upon the.face.of’ but syntactically is taken as a single syntactic constituent ‘from’.

 

  Again in the piece I've marked in bold, how should one interpret the use of the '.' here ?

  Perhaps the = and . are both part of one syntax for representing something.

 

Many thanx

D


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Sola lingua bona est lingua mortua

ἡ μόνη ἀγαθὴ γλῶσσα γλῶσσα νεκρὰ ἐστιν

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#2 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 10:57 AM

Hi Daniel,

 

Working backwards, I'll start with my interlinear glossing (which borrows heavily from general linguistics conventions, esp. the Leipzig Glossing Rules -- you can find them free online by searching the name):

1. The period (.) represents morphological cliticization of one noun to the following noun (the so-called Hebrew "construct" relationship). 

2. The equals signs (=) represents possessive cliticization of a pronoun to a preceding noun (often called suffixed possessive pronouns).

 

On a recommendation for minimalist syntax, I really don't think it's necessary for understanding the database. I'll simply be frank -- generative linguistics is not something that one should read on his/her own. Most of the textbooks assume the presence of a seasoned linguist as a teaching guide. In that context, perhaps the most easily accessible is Andrew Carnie's Syntax: A Generative Introduction. But if you've had no linguistics training, I suggest starting back a few steps with a textbook that does not take any particular theoretical stance, such as Fromkin, Rodman, and Hyams, An Introduction to Language (10th edition, 2013). If I were asked to teach a general introduction to linguistics, with emphasis on syntax, I would use these two in tandem. In fact, that would be a fun course!

 

I appreciate your curiosity and courage. Let me know how it goes.


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Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages
Dept. of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
The University of Toronto
blog: ancienthebrewgrammar.wordpress.com

#3 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 01:07 PM

Hi Robert,

 

I agree that the database is accessible without linguistic training. And, I agree with David in another post, that even if we have to think of how you would analyze a clause, and make adjustments for our own queries, "it is a small price to pay for an intuitive interface and a database that delivers results."

 

I'm quite happy with this post. I just started reading An Introduction to Language, and based on your recommendation I'll read Syntax: A Generative Introduction next.

 

Before I saw this post, I was considering MIT's Introduction to Linguistics course at http://ocw.mit.edu/c...-2012/index.htm . It uses O'Grady, Archibald, et al.'s Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction, and Baker's The Atoms of Language: The Mind's Hidden Rules of Grammar, which do take a stand on generative grammar, and on the principles and parameters approach. I was going to read these after An Introduction to Language. Would you recommend either of these after reading Carnie?

 

If you ever teach that course, please post the syllabus on Ancient Hebrew Grammar.

 

Thank you, and regards,

 

Michel


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#4 Daniel Semler

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 01:07 PM

Thank for the quick response Robert. I have downloaded a PDF on Leipzig Glossing Rules. I've ordered a secondhand copy of Fromkin et al. If I survive that I'll look at Carnie.

 

Regarding the above, I'm assuming that the Hebrew construct state is essentially the same as that of Akkadian right ? I've not really started formally reading Hebrew grammar yet.

 

Many thanx again

D


Edited by Daniel Semler, 18 April 2015 - 01:20 PM.

Sola lingua bona est lingua mortua

ἡ μόνη ἀγαθὴ γλῶσσα γλῶσσα νεκρὰ ἐστιν

lišanu ēdēnitu damqitu lišanu mītu

 

Accordance Configurations :
 
Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop
      Intel Core Duo                          Intel i5 Ivy Bridge
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      Accordance 11.0.4                       Accordance 11.0.4
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#5 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 03:23 PM

Michel — I looked at the MIT online course a few years ago. It looked very interesting. I haven't read those textbooks, though, so I can't say anything helpful (except that Baker is always interesting to read, in a very meaty way).

 

Daniel — the Hebrew "construct state" is, in my opinion, a form of word cliticization (I have an EHLL entry on this with Elan Dresher; it's posted at my blog, listed in my tagline below). As such, it is nearly identical to the Akkadian bound form.


Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages
Dept. of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
The University of Toronto
blog: ancienthebrewgrammar.wordpress.com

#6 Daniel Semler

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 03:47 PM

Once again thanx. More to learn - it will never end :) Good thing it's fun. I'll take a look at that article.

 

Thx

D


Sola lingua bona est lingua mortua

ἡ μόνη ἀγαθὴ γλῶσσα γλῶσσα νεκρὰ ἐστιν

lišanu ēdēnitu damqitu lišanu mītu

 

Accordance Configurations :
 
Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop
      Intel Core Duo                          Intel i5 Ivy Bridge
      12GB RAM                                8GB RAM
      Accordance 11.0.4                       Accordance 11.0.4
      OSX 10.10.2 (Yosemite)                  Win 7 Professional x64 SP1





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