Abstract: The present paper aims at designing a more accurate and richer model applying the grammaticalization approach to the synchronic study of the Biblical Hebrew verbal system. This new proposal—based on the dynamic description of languages and on the panchronic methodology, which are both necessary consequences of the grammaticalization framework, path and chaos theories, as well as of several principles of cognitive linguistics—constitutes an extension and improvement of the model formulated by John A. Cook. In 2002, J. A. Cook employed grammaticalization laws as the explanatory vehicle of the Biblical Hebrew verbal formations presenting a model which, being based on the findings of the grammaticalization and path theories, went beyond a purely diachronic perspective. However, the contrastive analysis of Cook's proposal with the requirements of the dynamic evolutionary view of languages demonstrates that this first application of the grammaticalization and path theories to the synchronic study of the Biblical Hebrew verb fails to comply with all the prerequisites derived from the two approaches. In light of this, the outline of an exemplary, second generation, model of the improvement will be sketched which in a more truthful manner takes into account the exigencies of the theories related to evolutionary linguistics.
Hebrew Studies – National Association of Professors of Hebrew
Published: Feb 5, 2011