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ERIC Number: ED532570
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 422
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-6724-6
Aspect and the Biblical Hebrew Niphal and Hitpael
Benton, Richard Charles, Jr.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
This dissertation analyzes two derived Biblical Hebrew verbal forms, the Niphal and the Hitpael. Present scholarship on Biblical Hebrew does not agree on the definition or relationship of these two stems. In chapter 1 I outline the two major problems for the Niphal and Hitpael: (1) unified definitions for each, and (2) their functional overlap. An analysis of the state of scholarship on the Niphal and Hitpael comprises chapter two. I begin with the various meanings of the Niphal and Hitpael offered by Hebraists. Ultimately, I show that the stative/resultative meaning is definitive for the Niphal and the activity sense for the Hitpael. In chapter three, I develop a model for the interaction between grammatical voice and situation aspect. I approach the passive voice with a functional model in order to explain why some languages include more than one passive voice expression. I demonstrate that any passive construction demotes the primary argument. In this light, the formal middle voice in many languages also fulfills a passive function. While these distinct verb forms share this function, they fulfill an additional function within the passive voice, namely, they distinguish between resulting state- and activity-oriented situation aspects, respectively. Chapter four demonstrates that the voice-aspect model developed in chapter three helps explain the Biblical Hebrew data. After I examine all the Niphal, Hitpael, Hitpolel, Hitpalpel, and Nitpael forms in the Hebrew Bible, Hebrew inscriptions, and Book of Ben Sira, I include examples that contrast the function of the two verb forms. I also consider relevant Pual examples. Finally, I demonstrate that the Niphal and Hitpael both function as passives, namely, they demote the primary argument. At the same time, the Niphal operates as a state-oriented passive, and the Hitpael as an activity-oriented passive. In chapter five I compare the use of the Niphal and Hitpael diachronically, from the earliest stages of Biblical Hebrew through Ben Sira. The Niphal reliably expresses a resulting state and the Hitpael, activity aspect. While retaining its essential function, the Hitpael appears to expand into more areas, either because of diachronic development or genre, as the number of neologisms increases. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A