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THE USE OF THE DEFINITE ARTICLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOME BIBLICAL TOPONYMS

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image of Vetus Testamentum

Biblical Hebrew like other languages exhibits diachronic linguistic changes. One such linguistic change observable in the Hebrew Bible is the use of the definite article in the development of some biblical toponyms. What is behind the different forms of the same place-name, such as 'the Mount Gilboa' ( ) in 1 Sam. xxxi 1 vs. 'Mount Gilboa' ( ) in 1 Ch. x 1? It is observed that the use or absence of the article is by no means an accident but the result of a semantic change over a long period of use by the linguistic community. Furthermore, the use of the article in the development of toponyms shows the relative dates of writing of biblical books. The outcome of the study indicates the archaic character of the books of the Pentateuch and Joshua, and relative late dates of writing of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah.

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853302760197485
2002-07-01
2016-12-10

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