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Linguistic Coherence in Biblical Hebrew Texts


Arrangement of information, participant reference devices, verb forms, and their contribution to textual segmentation and coherence


This monograph explores the distinct ways in which four discourse devices participate in establishing coherence in Biblical Hebrew texts. Bringing together linguistics, literary analysis, pragmatics, and translation methodology, de Regt demonstrates how a thorough understanding of the functions of devices of linguistic coherence beyond the sentence level should be integrated into biblical translation methodology and Biblical Hebrew pedagogy.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-3938-1
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Aug 13,2019
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 160
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-3938-1
$114.95
$80.46
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This monograph explores the various strategies that are used in Biblical Hebrew texts to create discourse coherence and comprehensibility: participant reference devices, the choice of verb forms, non-chronological arrangement, word order patterns, lexical cohesion and in general the balance of presupposed and unexpected information. It also provides a running commentary on the Balaam Pericope (Numbers 22–24) and its coherence. Many examples in the book illustrate how a thorough understanding of these devices of linguistic coherence beyond sentence level will help translators to preserve the coherence in translation. It is intended for hebraists, exegetes and close readers of Biblical Hebrew texts, as well as translators.

This monograph explores the various strategies that are used in Biblical Hebrew texts to create discourse coherence and comprehensibility: participant reference devices, the choice of verb forms, non-chronological arrangement, word order patterns, lexical cohesion and in general the balance of presupposed and unexpected information. It also provides a running commentary on the Balaam Pericope (Numbers 22–24) and its coherence. Many examples in the book illustrate how a thorough understanding of these devices of linguistic coherence beyond sentence level will help translators to preserve the coherence in translation. It is intended for hebraists, exegetes and close readers of Biblical Hebrew texts, as well as translators.

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Contributor Biography

Lénart de Regt

Lénart de Regt (PhD Leiden 1988; Habilitation Strasbourg 2016) is Global Translation Advisor with the United Bible Societies (with special responsibility for Bible translation projects in Europe and the Russian Federation), Research Fellow at the Hebrew Department of the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, and Affiliated Researcher at the Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer of the VU University, Amsterdam.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Table of Contents (v)
Preface (ix)
Introduction (1)

1. Shifts in participant reference (5)
   1.1 Participant reference devices and their impact (6)  
   1.2 Participant reference devices in translation (23)
   1.3 Shift of person as a participant reference device (24)
   1.4 Shift of person in translation (27)
   1.5 Shift of number as a participant reference device (29)
   1.6 Metonymy as a participant reference device (31) 
   1.7 Dominance and participant reference devices (32)

2. Speaker, addressee, and communication flow in the discourse: Presupposed and Unexpected Information; the Verbal System; Domains; Non-Chronological Arrangement; Segmentation (35)
   2.1 Presupposed information and unexpected information; rhetorical questions and what they reinforce (35) 
   2.2 Proximity, non-proximity and the verbal system (39) 
   2.3 Domains and verb forms (50) 
   2.4 Redactional development; non-chronological arrangement (52) 
   2.5 Paragraphs and syntactic discontinuity; criteria for segmentation (59)

3. Information in the text, focus, and word order in the clause (63) 
   3.1 Word order and the verbal system: separate pragmatic motivations (68) 
   3.2 Word order, translation, and the translator’s norm (69) 
   3.3 Word order and statistics (72)

4. Lexical cohesion and impact of individual words and phrases on the text as a whole (75) 
   4.1 Multiple meaning and lexicographical approaches in some dictionaries (75) 
   4.2 Lexical cohesion, variation, ideology, and the translator (78)

5. Linguistic coherence in the Balaam Pericope (83) 
   5.1 Around Balaam’s three encounters with God (Num 22:1–40) (84) 
   5.2 Around Balaam’s first oracle in 23:7b–10 (Num 22:41–23:12) (99) 
   5.3 Around Balaam’s second oracle in 23:18b–24 (Num 23:13–26) (105) 
   5.4 Around Balaam’s third oracle in 24:3b–9 (Num 23:27–24:14) (111) 
   5.5 Balaam’s final oracles (Num 24:15–25) (117)

Conclusion and suggestions for further research (121) 
   Marked as opposed to unmarked devices of linguistic coherence (121) 
   Teaching about devices of linguistic coherence (123)
   Word order as indicator of the balance between presupposed and new information (123)
   Lexical cohesion, variation, and translation (124) 
   Restoring the balance between presupposed and new information in translation (124) 
   Some research avenues (125)

Bibliography (127) 
Index (143)

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