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Bits, Bytes, and Binyanim
A Quantitative Study of Verbal Lexeme Formations in the Hebrew Bible

Authors:  Verheij A.J.C.
Year: 2000
ISBN: 978-90-429-0783-6
Pages: XII-177 p.
Price: 47 EURO

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This study offers a new approach to one of the central elements of Hebrew and Semitic grammar, viz. the binyanim or conjugations. Using various quantitative methods, the book analyzes the complete verbal vocabulary of the Hebrew Bible as contained in the machine-readable text developed at the Werkgroep Informatica (Department of Biblical Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) focusing on morphological characteristics as well as on some basic semantic and syntactic features. It is argued, i.a., that the Qal should be regarded as the default binyan of the Hebrew Bible, and that the Pi` `el acts to some extent as a rival to the Qal. Among the features discussed, it is transitivity which emerges as the most important one. The author (1959) reads theology at the University of Amsterdam, specializing in Old Testament studies and Biblical Hebrew. After his 1990 Leiden PhD on a linguistic comparison of the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, he joined the Werkgroep Informatica in 1992.

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