Non-emphatic fronting in biblical hebrew

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Studies of word order to date have attributed fronting resulting in deviations from canonical word order (e.g. This book, I really like) to marked discourse properties of the fronted constituent (e.g. Prince (1981), Givon (1983a), Ward (1985)). The present paper demonstrates that fronting in Biblical Hebrew is generally motivated by entirely different factors: Discourse properties of the clause as a whole (e. g. cooperative vs. unilateral decisions about the future) determine whether verb-initial or verb-second order is used. In cases where verb-second order is called for, a syntactic/semantic fronting hierarchy (e. g. subject > direct object > directional PP) determines which overt constituent to front. Whichever constituent is higher on this hierarchy is fronted; its discourse status is irrelevant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-144
Number of pages52
JournalTheoretical Linguistics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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