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Diglossia and Other Topics in New Testament Linguistics by Stanley E. Porter

By Stanley E. Porter

The first a part of this quantity incorporates a precis of this significant region of research in either Septuagintal and New testomony Greek, and a evaluation of those concerns within the context of linguistic learn usually. A moment half comprises contributions on features of analysis into the Greek of either Testaments, that includes either new components of study, reminiscent of severe discourse research, and extra conventional concerns resembling the character of the Septuagint translation.

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18 This grammatical feature became distinct as a result of changes from the old northwest Semitic verbal system, in which the yaqtul preterite was productive. Secondly, the memory of the old preterite waned and the waw-consecutive became increasingly marginalized as an operative verbal tense during the period of LBH (Kutscher 1982: 45, §67). Thirdly, a further restructuring in the verbal system occurred, producing the changes seen in MH, including complete loss of waw-consecutives and the rise of a productive periphrastic present/future using rrn plus participle (Kutscher 1971: 16001601; Segal 1927: 150, 156-57).

Rendsburg is drawing on an idea expressed earlier by Segal in 1927: 73 (§ 157): It may even be doubted whether the consecutive construction ever attained in popular speech that dominating position which it occupies in the literary dialect. ' SMITH The Question ofDiglossia in Ancient Hebrew 47 innovation, which also must be sought in spoken language. Hence, methodologically, we cannot transfer grammatical features from one period back to an earlier time in neglect of the diachronic developments in the language.

The history of textual transmission also makes it difficult to differentiate the idiolect of the original user, when a manuscript such as the New Testament has undergone a regularizing influence in the hands of Atticistic copyists, who tended to conform syntax and even spelling to their idealized classical norms. Despite these difficulties, there have been numerous studies of the languages of Palestine in the first century (see Porter 1994 for a recent survey). Very few of these studies, however, are concerned to analyse the languages in use in terms of sociolinguistic categories (but see Silva 1980).

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