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Title: An examination of the function of the piʿel in biblical Hebrew
Author: Harris, Kenneth Laing.
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2005
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Since Albrecht Goetze criticized the 'intensive' explanation of the function of the D-stem in Semitic languages in 1942, scholars have been debating how the function of the theme [stem] ought to be described. This debate focuses on the nature of both internal relationships - how do all its function relate, and external relationships - how docs the theme relate to the rest of the verbal system. The framework of the discussion tends to expect that the data is able to provide answers to these questions that arc both absolute in nature and exhaustive in scope. As a result, scholarly response is largely polarized between the verbal system being necessarily either 'systematic' - the connection between form and function is transparent, or 'lexicalizcd' - the connection between form and function is opaque. Consequently, the discussion of the piel in Biblical Hebrew is also set in this framework, represented in particular by the work of Ernst Jenni. The shape of the route taken in research on the function of the piel since Goetze's article is described in chapter one. In chapter two, the present study has argued that the nature and scope of the questions scholars have asked have not sufficiently taken the nature of the data into consideration. Therefore, the purpose of the present research has been to study the function of the piel in Biblical Hebrew and to allow the data in the texts to determine the extent to which conclusions are drawn. To achieve this, the forms of all verbs attested in the piel were examined in the Biblical texts, with focus given to those verbs that arc well attested. In addition, verbs that are used in the same contexts and have overlapping senses were also grouped together and observations about the function of the piel amongst the themes of the verbs are given where appropriate. The presentation of this material is given in chapters three, four, and five. The examination undertaken in this study has illustrated the fact that function of the piel amongst the themes shows patterns of internal relationship that can be described gencrally as 'complex active', and external relationships that overlap with the function of the qal and hiphil forms white still being able to be distinct from them. The study argues then in chapter six, that what the data presents of the verbal system shows a language with both principles and structures of relationship as well as the existence of overlap in function between elements in that structure. Thus, the language contained in the data of the text bears its functions primarily in a manner consistent with its use - it was 'lived in' for the purpose of communication.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available