n Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages - The archeology of oral communication. In search of spoken language in the Bible

Volume 26, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-0131


The article discusses the possibility of reconstrucing the way in which ancient languages were spoken by analysing ancient writings. The Hebrew of the Old Testament serves as a model. It proves the validity of the approach, which is based on linguistic rules generally applied when using written language to reconstruct oral speech. The article especially focuses on the literary language used in the source material, as well as on the problematic aspects of narrative intention and purpose of different texts (e.g. literary, theological, etc.). Interesting insights are gained through comparison of biblical texts with non -biblical ancient oriental writings, such as ancient Hebrew inscriptions.

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