Original Research

Is the adjective distinct from the noun as a grammatical category in biblical Hebrew?

Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé, Jacobus A. Naudé
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 50, No 4 | a2005 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i4.2005 | © 2016 Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé, Jacobus A. Naudé | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 July 2015 | Published: 25 August 2016

About the author(s)

Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé, Department of Hebrew, University of the Free State, South Africa
Jacobus A. Naudé, Department of Hebrew, University of the Free State, South Africa


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Abstract

The adjective is a beleaguered category in biblical Hebrew grammar with many grammars of biblical Hebrew denying that the adjective is a category distinct from substantives. Within a variety of linguistic theories, the status of the adjective as a grammatical category is also debated. Cross-linguistically adjectives exhibit extraordinary variety: in some languages showing similarities to nouns, in others to verbs and in still others to both nouns and verbs. The debate concerning the status of the adjective is mirrored by the broader debate within contemporary linguistics concerning how the issue of grammatical categorisation ought to be approached. In this article, we re-examine the question of whether or not the adjective is a distinct grammatical category from the noun in biblical Hebrew. We approach the question of the status of the adjective as a grammatical category from two perspectives: morphology and syntax.


Keywords

adjective; noun; grammatical category; parts-of-speech syntax

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