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The Accents Hierarchy And Meaning

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Chapter Summary

The term 'accent' refers to the marks which, in addition to the vowel signs, are used on the words of the Hebrew Bible. Two forms of accentuation are used in the Masoretic text: one in the Three Books, Psalms, Proverbs, and Job, and the other in those verses of Job, and in the Twenty-one Books comprising the rest of the text. This survey is concerned only with the accentuation of the Twenty-one Books. The primary key to the basic interpretation represented by the accentuation is the hierarchy according to which the accents are used, which delineates the major semantic units composing a verse, and the subdivisions of which they are composed. The second important key to the understanding of the accentuation is the relationship between the semantic units marked, and those of the syntactic structure. After all, the syntactic structure is important as a vehicle for the meaning of language.

Keywords: accent hierarchy; Hebrew Bible; Book of Job; Proverbs; Psalms; syntactic structure



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