Making a come back (and some notes on בלי)


Well, hello again. Sorry for the silence. A good friend just reminded me that it's not good to put your hand to the plow and look back. It seems that other "plows" in the past month have been more demanding than this little blog. But being in a spot where these are fields are finally ready to lie fallow, I can ease my way back into this venture. In the meantime, I'll share a bit of what distracted me from writing here.

One word. בלי. I know some of us have talked about this little form in the past, but a friend of mine and I took up the task of really diving deep into what this Biblical Hebrew lexeme can be used to indicate. We just finished up a two part article series that'll be debuting in XXXX journal, probably later than sooner. That's how it tends to go, right?

In the first article, we assessed the functional potential of בלי (or otherwise known as heterosemy) and invariably looked at its semantic potential too (polysemy). We were surprised(?) to find a number of syntactic functions expressed by this little lexeme, namely: noun, preposition, semi-conjunction, conjunction, negative affix, and verbal negator. Yes! All of these! And, yes, we were not shy in admitting "defeat" in labeling some uses as instances where we actually get a glimpse of the grammaticalized (developmental) life of form as it changes from one use/function to another (as context calls upon it to do so).

The second article was dedicated to plotting the line of derivation between all of these functions, since haphazard growth is, frankly, a joke. We used typological chains (established patterns) to chart and support such a piecing-together, and then looked at some comparative (Semitic) data to find out more about the syntactic and semantic origins of the form.

When they get accepted I'll try and remember to let you know so you can read them if that suits your fancy. Over all, I learned a lot and was stretched a ton. My partner was WAY more qualified to do this than I, but he was a good sport and great coach, providing encouragement along the way.

All right, that's all for now. Will touch back soon with some comments on the 3rd chapter of Kingdom Through Covenant (then hopefully some stimulating conversations can begin as we start digging into the actual covenants!).