Need a Little Help from the Linguistics Nerds...

Okay all of you Hebrew linguistics nerds out there, I need a little help.  I’m putting together my reading lists for my comprehensive exams, and one of them will be on modern linguistics and biblical Hebrew.  So hit me, your best monograph recommendations, either with regard to general linguistic theory, or to the application of modern linguistic theories to biblical Hebrew especially.  I have a lot of ideas already (more than I probably need), but I thought somebody out there might be able to point me in the direction of something I would never have come across otherwise.  Thanks in advance.

7 Responses

  1. Calvin says:

    I’d think you really couldn’t go wrong with either John Cook’s dissertation, “The Biblical Hebrew Verbal System: A Grammaticalization Approach,” or Robert Holmstedt’s dissertation, “The Relative Clause in Biblical Hebrew: A Linguistic Analysis.” They may be more specific than what you’re looking for though. They each deal a good bit with modern linguistic theory and then apply that to BH. I say they may be too specific for your needs because they each address a very precise area of BH.

    • Thanks Calvin, excellent suggestions! Dissertations are particularly welcome as suggestions, as they are harder to come across in the normal course of bibliography accumulation.

  2. For generative: anything by Vince DeCaen (including this 1995 thesis), Jackie Naude, and Edit Doron (on BH).

    For functionalism: anything by Matthew Anstey works, John Myhill, Randy Buth, Randy Garr, Christo van der Merwe, and Geoffrey Khan.

    That’s just for starters, but your list will grow from there using their bibliographies (except for the generative side, for which BH hasn’t had much attention).

  3. Mike Aubrey says:

    The relatively recently published Oxford Handbook of Lingusitic Analysis is an expensive, but incredibly useful survey of a couple dozen or so different linguistic frameworks.

    Van Valin & LaPolla’s Syntax is also very good. It’s introductory chapter on the development of linguistic theory should be required reading for just about anyone.

    On morphology, you probably can’t do better than P. H. Matthew’s second edition of Morphology in the Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics series.

    For a history and survey of the discipline, Dinneen’s General Linguistics is quite good. And to grasp how linguistic theory developed the way it did in North America, P. H. Matthew’s Grammatical Theory in the United States from Bloomfield to Chomsky is excellent (thought it should be emphasized that since Matthews does refer to Sapir relatively regularly too, we could probably say, “Grammatical Theory in North America.” Sapir worked primarily in Canada, after all!

    Lastly (well, I could keep going for quite some time, really), Newmeyer’s Language Form and Language Function is a rich discussion of the debate between functionalism and formalism–even if Newmeyer is somewhat slanted toward the formal side.

    • Thanks Mike…though it’s a little late as I sat that particular comp about 3 months ago ;). But, it’s always good to see more reading suggestions. Van Valin has been on my theory to-do list for awhile, and I’ve been thinking about the functionalism/formalism issue lately as well, so your suggestions on that front are helpful.

    • Mike Aubrey says:

      Yeah, I figured as much…I hadn’t yet seen your blog before, so perusing posts is always the first thing I do. Most language guys (and phd students) tend to always be interested in reading more about language, so I thought I’d throw a few out.

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