Linguistic remarks on the unity of 4QMMT and its implications for Hebrew in the Late Second Temple Period

Journal article


Wearne, Gareth J.. (2021). Linguistic remarks on the unity of 4QMMT and its implications for Hebrew in the Late Second Temple Period. Revue de Qumran. 33(1), pp. 61-91. https://doi.org/10.2143/RQ.33.1.3289548
AuthorsWearne, Gareth J.
Abstract

4QMMT is an important witness to the diversity of Hebrew in the late Second Temple Period. Its significance stems both from its distinctive grammar and claims that it resembles a form of spoken Hebrew. Yet the usefulness of 4QMMT for both sociolinguistic and historical reconstructions is complicated by arguments that it is a composite text which preserves two distinct linguistic profiles. Focusing primarily on the level of verbal syntax, this article argues that the perceived linguistic differences between the two major sections of 4QMMT are illusory and reflect nothing more than a shift in thematic focus. This conclusion is then used to argue for the differentiation of registers in the Dead Sea Scrolls, according to which the majority of the Scrolls reflect a 'high' literary register, while the Hebrew of 4QMMT is closer to a spoken register.

Year2021
JournalRevue de Qumran
Journal citation33 (1), pp. 61-91
PublisherPeeters Publishers
ISSN0035-1725
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.2143/RQ.33.1.3289548
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85147369299
Page range61-91
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All rights reserved
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Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online2021
Publication process dates
Deposited26 May 2023
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