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Old Testament Essays

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919


CHAU, Kevin. Employing language typology for teaching Biblical Hebrew: A test case in Cantonese-Chinese. Old testam. essays [online]. 2017, vol.30, n.1, pp.56-76. ISSN 2312-3621.

This article follows upon Jacobus A. Naudé and Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé's "A New Biblical Teaching Grammar for African Bible Translators" (OTE 24/3 [2011]), which presented a paradigm shift for teaching Biblical Hebrew to non-native English speakers. They argued that grammars and lecturers can confuse students by presenting Biblical Hebrew through the viewpoint of English (and other Indo-European languages) in which elements of the English grammar may fundamentally differ from the grammars of the students' native languages. They proposed that such problems can be avoided or mitigated by employing language typology (how languages and components of language are classified according to their formal features). This article utilizes Cantonese-Chinese as a test case for demonstrating how language typology may be specifically applied in the instruction of Biblical Hebrew to students from one particular language. It illustrates how employing language typology addresses the wide range of grammatical concepts in Biblical Hebrew, specifically the points of (non)correspondence between Biblical Hebrew versus Cantonese and English.

Palavras-chave : Biblical Hebrew Language; Biblical Hebrew Linguistics; Language typology; Cantonese-Chinese.

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