Direct discourse markers in Mishnaic Hebrew

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The two direct discourse markers (DDMs) <hebrewdalet><hebrewpe><hebrewvav><hebrewlamed> and <hebrewdalet><hebrewpe><hebrewalef> appear in Mishnaic Hebrew (200 BCE-500 CE) at the beginning of an asyndetic content clause that follows verbs of saying (e.g. <hebrewlamed><hebrewalef><hebrewshin>) and verbs that are not verbs of saying (e.g. <hebrewhet><hebrewpe><hebrewshin>). An examination of the two markers reveals that the appearance of <hebrewdalet><hebrewpe><hebrewvav><hebrewlamed> as a DDM is limited, and that it shows the continuity of the widespread use of <hebrewdalet><hebrewpe><hebrewalef><hebrewlamed> as a DDM in Biblical Hebrew. On the other hand, <hebrewdalet><hebrewpe><hebrewalef><hebrewvav> is an independent DDM in Mishnaic Hebrew, and can be found not only with biblical verbs and with verbs of saying. Part 1 of this paper presents the findings of previous studies on the DDMs <hebrewdalet><hebrewpe><hebrewalef><hebrewlamed> and <hebrewdalet><hebrewpe><hebrewalef><hebrewvav> in Biblical Hebrew. The two sections of Part 2 provide a description of the two uses of these DDMs in Mishnaic Hebrew - when they appear at the beginning of a clause following verbs of saying and when they appear at the beginning of a clause following verbs that are not verbs of saying.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-58
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Semitic Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


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