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Syntax of Targum Aramaic: A Text–Linguistic Reading of 1Samuel

CONDREA, VASILE,ANDREI (2017) Syntax of Targum Aramaic: A Text–Linguistic Reading of 1Samuel. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Biblical languages and time mix well. The former allow access to ancient times when our ancestors, we are told, spoke to God face–to–face. This interaction took place supposedly in the languages in which we receive the literary account of the interaction. This thesis aims to reconnect our modern languages to Targum Aramaic. With the use of two complementary linguistic methods, that of text–linguistics (Harald Weinrich) and the functional sentence perspective of the Prague school (FSP), it seeks to answer key questions about Aramaic syntax and word order.
In Targum 1Samuel, the text examined here, connection with the reader is established through a flow of narrative, which represents the sequence of events as they happened, which is sometimes substituted with comment. This comment represents the narrator’s notes, clarifications, or it simply tells or re–tells the events in the form of a report rather than narrative. These authorial interventions accompany the narration. Weinrich described these two realities, and connected them with morphological tenses in modern languages, which use tenses like past simple our past perfect for narrative, but comment by employing present, present perfect, and future. Comment and narrative tenses are exhibited by the indirect speech of narrative genre in most modern languages.
The Aramaic and the Biblical Hebrew underlying 1Samuel, being Semitic Languages, do not display that morphological diversity in terms of tense; consequently, modern readers have tended to read them simply as narrative, ignoring comment. This is evident in most translations and interpretations of these texts into modern languages. Where indirect speech occurs in either Aramaic or Hebrew, such translations and interpretations assume that the text merely narrates, and accordingly they restrict themselves to using past simple and continuous, and past perfect and continuous tenses, and their equivalents in modern languages.
This thesis ascertains that comment in Targum 1Samuel is closely bound up with word order and the limited number of tenses in Aramaic. Interpreting these together gives us back our narrator and his notes, clarifications, or reports.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:text-linguistics, functional sentence perspective, comment and narrative, word order in Targum Aramaic, Targum 1 Samuel, temporal metaphor, the episode in biblical literature, Aramaic perfect, Aramaic imperfect
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:31 May 2017 14:44

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