Jump to content

Searching for Gen 3:8-like constructions


Susan
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm trying to understand the syntax of Genesis 3:8 by looking at similar constructions, and I'm having trouble making a search that finds them. The relevant part of Gen 3:8 (unpointed because copy and paste from Accordance into these forums yields mismatched font sizes):

 
וישמעו את קול יהוה אלהים מתהלך בגן 
 
I gather from the syntax diagrams that קול is in construct with the entire clause "the LORD God [who is] walking...". This is interesting to me so I am attempting to find others. I created the search below, very simple (probably too simple), but most of what it finds seems to be artifact. The idea is that the construct noun should be followed by an adjunct which is itself the subject of a clause. Because the tagging is at the lowest level (here, subject), I think it should be workable.
 
This search finds 120 hits. The first, happily, is Gen 3:8. But the rest seem mostly irrelevant.  The next hit is Gen 7:14 which occurs because of null elements between, then a bunch of q/k pairs. Josh 4:3 looks to be an example of what I'm looking for. Josh 19:49 בני ישראל is apparently considered one term (or that's tagging mistake), Judg 15:1 is perhaps a mistake (קציר doesn't look like a subject). 1 Sam 20:14 may be a disagreement between morphology and syntax tags (חסד is not construct according to the syntax). And there are a bunch where I'm not sure what's going on. 
 
- Is there a way to eliminate the qere from the results? (I would actually prefer to eliminate the ketiv, but I assume that's not possible, so any way to get rid of the pairs is welcome.)
 
- Is there a better/cleaner way to write this search? (In addition to getting a bunch I’m not interested in, I’m afraid I’m missing some because it seems like this should be more common.)
 
- (Or maybe I’m just wrong about what’s going on in Gen 3:8, in which case perhaps someone can clarify that.)  
 
- (Is there a way to copy and paste from Accordance into these forums without mismatched font sizes? If I highlight and attempt to re-format, it remains mismatched.)
 
Thanks!
 
post-33003-0-46286200-1450187097_thumb.jpg
 
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Susan,

The example in Gen 3.8 is tagged as a small clause (aka reduced clause). These are somewhat common with participles in Hebrew, though non-participial versions exist. In contrast to a participial relative, a small clause presents an event that is underspecified for tense and/or mood. The English contrast is so:

 

1. They heard the sound of [God, who was walking in the garden] (in which a null copula is understand inside the relative; the null copula carries full TAM features)

 

2. They heard the sound of [God walking in the garden] (in which there is no null copula -- ignore the apparent presence of one in the trees for now--, thus only the participle provides aspect, but no T or M, and the reference is not to God, but to an event that God is involved in).

 

I'll have to see if these can be easily found in Accordance. I have them marked in notes throughout our database and have been planning in writing a long paper on them, but haven't thought about how they could be searched yet. But I'll have to defer this for a couple days, since I'm in the middle of grading and administering some PhD exams.

Edited by Robert Holmstedt
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Dr. Holmstedt. I didn’t know about small clauses -- fascinating. I will attempt to learn something about those.

 

Meanwhile, I didn’t mean to obligate you to respond to this or create searches for me, though your input is always appreciated and you’re presumably better at it than others. Still, I’m pretty sure there are a number of people who read these forums who know Hebrew grammar better than I do, so if others have thoughts about how to do this please let me know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This type of small clause is characterized by the fact that the complement to the verb is itself a clause, such that the the nominal heading the complement phrase can also be considered the subject of the small clause. A good example is Judg 1:24: ויראו השמרים איש יוצה מן העיר 'The guards saw [C [s a man] [P coming out of the city]]'. 

 

I would think that you would be able to find them by first searching for complements which contain a clause at depth 0 and then adding criteria to refine from there. I cannot get it to work right now (I am mostly getting hits on parenthetical clauses nested within a complement, though I am not sure these shouldn't be at the main clause level) but I am not 100% sure that the search algorithm is working correctly.

 

Nevertheless, Gen 3:8 is actually slightly more complicated because the complement proper is headed by קול, while יהוה אלהים functions as the subject of the following clause יהוה אלהים מתהלך בגן which could also be analyzed with an underlying relative structure (Robert's example 1): 'They heard [C the sound of [A [1 Yhwh Elohim [A [s 01] [P walking in the garden]]]]]'.

 

By searching for שמע and קול and then scanning the results, I found similar examples in Num 7:89, Deut 4:33, Deut 5:26, possibly 1 Kgs 1:45 (the structure looks similar but FS באה does not agree with plural רגליה), Isa 6:8, and Ezek 1:28. Gen 3:8 is the only one that is not tagged with an underlying relative structure (Robert!). 

Edited by Peter Bekins
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's because I'm in the process of sorting out which likely are and are not small clauses. The judgment is not always so clear, and Gen 3.8 was one of the earliest tagged, which I subsequently changed from a relative to a small clause structure. In any case, I do have them all noted in my critical notes, so at some point in the not-so-distant future, I will normalize them all in the process of pulling them out for the paper I want to write.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I did some initial toying with finding the small clauses, and I can't sort out an easy way to find them.

 

Moreover, although I have many of them marked in my running notes to the raw syntax file, I noted in skimming through that there are subtle inconsistencies in how we treated the syntax of these over the last 5 years, mostly due to my ambivalence concerning how to tag them. So, I'm going to have to work on this issue, by first deciding how to analyze them apart from the database and then going through and fixing the tagging. After that I'll work on a simple search.

 

Sorry folks who are interested. This particular issue is at the margins of the current understanding of BH grammar, so I don't have a quick solution for you.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...