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Lexical Ignorance and the Ancient Versions of Proverbs

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Chapter Summary

In the critical apparatus of the forthcoming BHQ edition of Proverbs the abbreviation "ign-lex", standing for "ignorance of lexical information", will sometimes be used to characterize a rendering of one or several of the ancient versions. The use of this term implies a judgment that the origin of the reading is to be found in the copyist's or translator's lack of data or understanding concerning their Vorlage. Ignorance can be specified with regard to cultural or geographic information and, linguistically, in reference to stylistic, syntactic, grammatical or lexical information. It is tempting to establish a relationship between lexical ignorance and the hapax nature of certain lexemes. One should, however, not lose sight of the fact that the rare occurrence of words and forms may be haphazard and due to the limited size of a written corpus of texts with specific features.

Keywords: hapax nature; lexical ignorance; Proverbs

10.1163/9789047409106_019
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