Is It Possible to Reconstruct “Northern Biblical Hebrew”? ⎻ Jeremy Hutton

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@ 3:00 pm
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Speaker: Jeremy M. Hutton, Professor of Classical Hebrew Language and Biblical Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Biblical scholars have long debated whether it is possible to isolate dialectal variation in Classical Hebrew (Biblical Hebrew). Jeremy Hutton will identify the methodological difficulties of making this judgment on the basis of such a small corpus: e.g., adducing the geographic origins of texts in light of (supposed) contemporary epigraphic remains; problems deriving from known diachronic developments and a “curated” textual tradition; arguments on the basis of single tokens and shifting semantic values; and linguistic debates concerning “standard” and “non-standard” varieties. He will then propose that a contact-linguistic analysis (and the concept of creolization), in concert with literary-ideological considerations, enable us to reconstruct a limited set of dialectal features in “Northern Classical Hebrew.”

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