Interjections & Information Structure


Note to beginners: not everything, or even most, things will be technical like this. I too am a novice when it comes to Information Structure; hence, me asking a question in this post to a hopefully smarter reader. ;) I was reading Ps 32 the other day in the Common English Bible (CEB) and was struck by their arrangement of the אשׁרי (truly happy is...) interjection. Instead of translating it at the beginning of the clause—like most translations—they stuck it at the very end (I added the caps):

1  The one whose wrongdoing is forgiven,

whose sin is covered over, is truly happy.

2  The one the LORD doesn't consider guilty—

in whose spirit there is no dishonesty—

that one is truly happy!

The rhetorical effect is clear: delay of a necessary clausal constituent necessarily builds anticipation for its reveal.* Now obviously this happens in milliseconds, but the impact is still felt—observed or not.

My question is this: Is this arrangement true to the intended pragmatic function of an interjection? In other words, does this English placement affect the information structure of the Hebrew interjection in a way that's contrary to the source language's intended expression?

This may be the wrong question to ask; it just caught me off guard how the CEB rendered the verse compared to most every other translation.

I'm really interested to hear your thoughts...


*Viz. in Information Structure jargon, it might be said that "truly happy is" becomes the focus of the utterance. But I am aware that interjections are not part of/related to a constituent/clause (cf. Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar, §42.1), and thus likely can't be considered part of the topic or focus; yet, אשׁרי does not seem like your prototypical interjection (e.g. it's more like a compressed exclamatory predicate than a short cry of emotion).