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Zum periphrastischen Infinitiv in Genesis viii 5

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The astonishing use of the double infinitive absolute with the verb, attested only in Gen. viii 5, has not yet been explained satisfactorily. The present paper argues that this construction is neither a variant form of the periphrastic participle, nor that serves as a pluperfect. Instead, the two infinitives provide an adverbial modification for the main verb by specifically marking durativity and/or iterativity. However, precisely the combination with appears to be special. The past tense indicator, itself being semantically void here, has been employed instead of a full verb, even though such a full verb would normally be expected with this expression, in order to retrieve a piece of information given in Gen. viii 3 and move it from the background to the foreground. It is thus the information structure which conditions the author's decision to explicitly mark the durative Aktionsart.

Affiliations: 1: Leiden


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