Once Again on Word Order in the War Scroll (1QM)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

This contribution offers a critical evaluation of John Screnock’s hypothesis that the basic word order in 1QM is subject-verb, with inversion triggered by fronting of non-subject elements or by the use of intransitive verbs. After a detailed examination of the evidence, the opposite conclusion is reached. Basic word order is verb-subject, with inversion to subject-verb order with pragmatically marked subjects (focus fronting). There seems to be no causal relationship between transitivity and word order. Furthermore, it is argued that Screnock’s interpretation of 1QM 1:1–3 (which flows from his transitivity-based analysis) is highly unlikely, as it leads to a division of sentences that would produce a structure practically unattested in the rest of the text. In addition, the findings are applied to the general discussion of word order in Hebrew, in particular as an argument against recent attempts at describing Biblical Hebrew as a language with basic subject-verb order.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDead Sea Discoveries
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)83-106
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Theology - Hebrew language, Qumran, Dead Sea Scrolls, Word order, War Scroll, 1QM

ID: 186150932