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Michel Gilbert
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Hi,

Would either Robert or Peter be willing to explain what "את as a differential object marker" means, as opposed to the traditional understanding?

Thanks, and regards,

Michel

 

Edit: I just skimmed Peter's, "Object Marking in Biblical Hebrew Poetry," and for instance, "In
DOM languages, object marking is conditioned by a complex set of semantic and pragmatic
factors, but the use of an object marker can typically be correlated to definiteness and/or
animacy, which are represented as scalars," pretty much jives with the traditional definite direct object approach, and scales of definiteness.

Edited by Michel Gilbert
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I'm trying to understand footnote 5 in the new A Brief User’s Guide for the Accordance Hebrew Syntax Database, "We take את to be a 'differential object marker'; see Bekins 2014," with reference to "and-saw God DOM5-THE–LIGHT."

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Hey Michel,

 

I haven't read anything much on this but at least according to the Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differential_object_marking) the term is attributable to Georg Bossong. Perhaps this paper would help providing some background : http://www.rose.uzh.ch/seminar/personen/bossong/Bossong_39.pdf. I haven't read it completely yet. And as to application to Hebrew not there yet either, so I would also be interested in any discussion here.

 

Thx

D

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Hi Daniel,

Thanks. I read a few things online to get the gist, which is pretty much summarized in Introduction to the special issue ’Differential Object Marking: theoretical and empirical issues’ by Iemmolo & Klumpp at http://www.zora.uzh.ch/id/eprint/94155/1/Iemmolo_Klumpp2014.pdf. By the way, your link doesn't work for me.

 

Besides Peter's article, I have to read his book for my article/short book on Gen 1,1, which is going on ten years in the making. My next database search will be for all definite objects without את, and all indefinite objects, and I'll just read all of these clauses over and over to try to see what's at work. Perhaps Peter has already done this, but I always like to do my own Hebrew reading first.
 

I was just curious about footnote 5, and anything Peter might say would be much appreciated.

Regards,

Michel

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Michel,

 

You are correct that it is not radically different from the definite direct object + definiteness as scalar approach. Using the label DOM is helpful, however, to indicate that the phenomenon is not unique to BH but shared by a rather large group of other languages, with a significant body of research on which we can draw.

 

So, for instance, we learn that the correlation to definiteness is typical of some DOM languages, but others show a stronger correlation to animacy. Some languages also conventionalize DOM so that, for instance, definite objects are always marked, as in Modern Hebrew. In BH marking of definite objects correlates more strongly to their pragmatic state (old versus new information). Further, since marking of definite objects is still variable in BH, we can make some inferences about the historical development of the system (which was my approach in that poetry paper).

 

There are some other nuances we could discuss (I could go on for hours), but I have to revise my SBL paper :)

 

Pete

 

EDIT: I didn't do every definite and indefinite object, but a large enough random sample to be confident about my conclusions. 

Edited by Peter Bekins
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