The Development of Predicates with Prepositional Subjects in Hebrew

Uri Mor, Na'Ama Pat-El

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Nominal predication where no obvious subject is present is a common pattern in Modern Hebrew and has been described and analysed in numerous works. In this paper we trace the history of the pattern and propose a historical scenario to account for its innovation. We argue that the pattern is already attested in Amarna Canaanite. Contrary to what is claimed by others, we further argue that this pattern has a subject, and suggest tests to prove that. In Rabbinic Hebrew, the distinction between this non-canonical pattern and a canonical equivalent with a covert subject was neutralized in certain syntactic and semantic contexts. This led to reinterpretation of canonical patterns and to further expansion of the non-canonical pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-346
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Semitic Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • History
  • Cultural Studies
  • Linguistics and Language


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