Daily Gleanings: Lingusitics (5 November 2019)

Kris Lyle has a substantive but accessible discussion of the (non‑)use of linguistics in recent biblical studies. In particular, Lyle takes aim at the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew.

Lyle makes the point that

for biblical language lexica [advances in modern linguistics] mean[] we’re able to do a lot more than record collocational patterns and provide target language glosses.

But despite the aims of the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew to take special account of modern linguistic advances,

in the end, we are left with much of the same when we consult the pages of the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew: English glosses and a comprehensive treatment of collocational arrangements.

Lyle thinks “it would indeed be a very inconvenient way of studying a Hebrew text to look up the meanings of all the words in this large and exhaustive work.”

If one uses the Logos edition when working through a Hebrew text, this inconvenience vastly dissipates.

But Lyle’s summary of the Dictionary‘s contents as mainly involving “English glosses and a comprehensive treatment of collocational arrangements” seems pretty fair.

And even though this emphasis doesn’t put the Dictionary at the forefront of linguistically-informed lexicography, it certainly does provide a huge reservoir of other kinds of valuable information about classical Hebrew.

For Lyle’s full discussion, see his essay now newly reposted at Koine Greek.

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