Presently, most scholars hold that the linguistic status of Rabbinic Hebrew from Byzantine Palestine (380-640 ce) is that of a dead literary language, influenced by Aramaic and earlier varieties of Hebrew, and that Hebrew had already died out as a spoken vernacular in the second or early third century ce. The sources for this variety are rabbinic texts produced by the Palestinian Amoraim and to a lesser degree, epigraphy. The article challenges this view, claiming that such opinions have not been based on a systematic morphosyntactic examination of Palestinian Amoraic Hebrew. The article presents such an analysis of a morphosyntactic structure, namely, pseudo-coordinated verb pairs. Two sub-structures are examined: (I) imperative + imperative and (II) imperative + yiqtol, in Palestinian Amoraic Hebrew, Tannaitic Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew and Jewish Palestinian Aramaic. Palestinian Amoraic Hebrew is found to clearly align with Tannaitic Hebrew, and not Biblical Hebrew and Jewish Palestinian Aramaic.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Language and Linguistics
- Religious studies
- Linguistics and Language
- Literature and Literary Theory