Old Testament Essays
On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919
NAUDE, Jacobus A. and MILLER-NAUDE, Cynthia L.. A new Biblical Hebrew teaching grammar for African Bible translators: A typological approach. Old testam. essays [online]. 2011, vol.24, n.3, pp.690-707. ISSN 2312-3621.
The basic premise of a teaching grammar (as opposed to a descriptive grammar or a prescriptive grammar) is that it must describe the grammar to be learned in terms of the grammar of the language known by the student. In this regard, Biblical Hebrew teaching grammars are woefully inadequate for non-Western students, since they teach the grammatical concepts of Biblical Hebrew from the standpoint of Indo-European languages. This is especially problematic in cases where the language of the student is closer to Biblical Hebrew than is the Indo-European language that is used as the reference point in the grammar. An example would be a language with an aspectual verbal system, which is closer to the Hebrew system than the tensed verbal system of English. In this paper we describe a research project in progress at the University of the Free State to produce a new teaching grammar of Biblical Hebrew based upon language typology, which allows students to learn Biblical Hebrew in terms of the ways in which various features of their language are the same or different from Biblical Hebrew from a typological viewpoint.