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The verbal system in maskilic Hebrew prose fiction 1857-1881

Kahn, L.O.; (2008) The verbal system in maskilic Hebrew prose fiction 1857-1881. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This study constitutes a detailed analysis of the verbal morphology and syntax of the Maskilic Hebrew prose fiction written in Eastern Europe between 1857 and 1881. It is based on an extensive corpus of short stories and novels by prominent authors such as Peretz Smolenskin, Yehudah Leib Gordon, Abraham Mapu, and Shalom Jacob Abramowitz. The chief findings are that, although the maskilic authors expressly attempted to utilise only Biblical Hebrew, their Writing exhibits considerable influence from Rabbinic Hebrew, traces of Medieval Hebrew, certain resemblances to their native Yiddish, and similarities with Israeli Hebrew, as well as numerous innovative features and unprecedented uses of biblical and rabbinic forms. The authors' deviation from biblical norms may occasionally serve conscious semantic purposes such as the representation of vernacular speech; however, it often appears to be unintentional. These characteristics appear regularly throughout the corpus, making the maskilic verbal system a reasonably homogeneous entity that can be considered independent from other forms of Hebrew. The first section of the thesis offers a selective examination of maskilic verbal morphology, which is composed of biblical features including the 2fp and 3fp yiqtol forms, rabbinic elements such as the nitpa'el and masculine plural qotel ending in nun, paytanic forms including the 3ms object suffix ה -in conjunction with the infinitive construct, and biblical/rabbinic forms such as yiqtolu used in original contexts. The second section constitutes a thorough analysis of the functions of the maskilic qatal, yiqtol, qotel, periphrastic constructions, wayyiqtol, weqatal, cohortative, imperative, jussive, infinitive absolute, and infinitive construct. The third section surveys selected features of maskilic verbal syntax, including the use of the qatal and wayyiqtol in narrative sequences, the role of the yiqtol and weqatal in the presentation of successive future actions, the negation of qotels and infinitives construct, imperative chains, and imperatives suffixed by נא.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The verbal system in maskilic Hebrew prose fiction 1857-1881
Language:English
Additional information:Pending digitisation
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Hebrew and Jewish Studies

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