Understanding Biblical Hebrew Verb Forms: Distribution and Function across Genres
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More About This Title Understanding Biblical Hebrew Verb Forms: Distribution and Function across Genres


This work is the first thorough study of tense, aspect, and modality (TAM) in light of the discourse functions of biblical Hebrew. Commonly used grammars of biblical Hebrew treat each verb tense or aspect form with little attention to their different functions in different discourse genres in which they occur. Building on classical and recent studies of Hebrew grammar, this volume presents J36more than 375 examples from 28 Old Testament books that demonstrate correlations between discourse genre and verb function. These show that every Hebrew verb tense or aspect has a natural home in certain types of discourse, and when that form is used elsewhere than its natural context, it marks some special point. This book helps Bible translators and newcomers to Hebrew studies toward a well-grounded understanding of the functions of verb forms, while challenging advanced specialists to reassess and refine their understanding of biblical Hebrew texts. Robert Longacre (Ph.D., Pennsylvania, 1955) has pioneered discourse research in modern languages and in biblical languages. His more than 150 publications include The Grammar of Discourse, Joseph: A Story of Divine Providence, Holistic Discourse Analysis (SIL), and discourse-theoretic analyses of the Genesis flood narrative and other texts in the Pentateuch and poetic books. Andrew C. Bowling (Ph.D., Brandeis, 1962) has taught in Lebanon and the USA, including 30 years at John Brown University and teaching Hebrew for 20 years. His publications include commentaries on four Old Testament books and papers on discourse analysis of Old Testament texts.