unfoldingWord Aramaic Grammar https://uag.readthedocs.io/en/latest/
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unfoldingWord Aramaic Grammar

This is the repository for a reference grammar for biblical Aramaic based on the morphology codes that show up in the Open Scriptures Hebrew Bible.


First stage

Start fresh and provide descriptions of grammatical concepts that show up in Open Scriptures Hebrew Bible morphological data

  • 1-2 sentence that is pop-upable in the 01.md files (Glossary entry)
  • ~1 page entry that provides more information and 2-3 examples like teaching grammars in 02.md files (Article entry)

Second stage

  • Tag the UHB with specific grammatical information (interrogative pronoun)

  • Concerning דִּי as marker of direct speech: HALOT + BDB = pragmatic function of the conjunctive use (seems forced); not mentioned in Johns, Rosenthal, or Greenspahn. Recommend parsing as a particle (direct speech marker).

  • Concerning דִּי as construct particle: BDB, HALOT, Wright, Johns, Rosenthal = genitive function (seems forced from Latin, category is too broad). Recommend parsing as a "construct particle". Also, there is a significant question concerning when דִּי functions as a construct particle versus a relative particle. So far, I have not been able to find a satisfactory explanation in any of the grammars for how they differentiate between the two, but there must be some reason or other for why the grammars conclude what they do. This might be worth further investigation, because we'll also have to make decisions in this regard both in the grammar and in parsing. In what cases, and on what basis, will we parse דִּי as a construct particle instead of a relative particle? This answer to this also touches on the definition of "definiteness" and the "determined state" in Aramaic.

  • Add the following particles to morphology? discourse particle, causal particle, conditional particle, construct particle, direct speech marker, particle of existence, particle of non-existence, compound conjunction, compound adverb, compound preposition, compound pronoun.

  • Concerning the determined state: Wright (Comparative Grammar of Semitic Languages, p.115,152) considers the determined ending a variation of the demonstrative particle, but different than the "definite article" of Hebrew. Thus, according to Wright, both the determined state ending in Aramaic and the definite article in Hebrew are derived from the same fundamental phenomenon (a demonstrative particle), but they are not full linguistic equivalents in their respective languages. Rosenthal considers the determined ending as having a demonstrative function, almost exactly like the word "the" in English. He speculates that the terminal א (and/or ה) originally served as a direct object marker. He does not comment on the similarity/dissimilarity of the Aramaic determined state and Hebrew definite article.

  • Compounds to add: כָּל קָבֵל דִּי (compound conjunction, "inasmuch as, because"); כָּל קָבֵל דְּנָה (compound conjunction, "therefore, thereupon"); בָּאתַר (compound preposition); גּוא plus בְּ or לְ (compound preposition, "opposite, corresponding to"); לָקָבֵל (compound preposition); כְּדִי (compound conjunction, "when, as soon as"); מִן דִּי (compound conjunction, "after, because"); עַד דִּי (compound conjunction, "until"); מַן דִּי (compound indefinite pronoun, "whoever"); מָה דִּי (compound indefinite pronoun, "whatever"); מִן יַד (compound adverb, "immediately"); כְּמָה (compound interrogative pronoun, "how!"); לְמָה (compound interrogative pronoun, "why?, for what purpose?); עַל־מָה (compound interrogative pronoun, "why?, wherefore?"). [See: Johns, p.16-17; Greenspahn, p.62,74,220-230.]

  • Words for parsing: H8533 – cardinal number, masculine plural; H1799a and H1799b – common noun, masculine;

Third stage

  • Write syntax glossary and article entries
  • Tag text with syntax information