Parallelism in the Hodayot from Qumran

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Biblical Studies
Comparative and Historical Linguistics
Comparative Literature
Cultural History
History of Religion
Jewish Studies
Language Interpretation and Translation
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Williams, Gary R

The dissertation aims to analyze parallelism in the Hodayot from Qumran and to compare it with parallelism in early biblical poetry, Isaiah 1-18, and Isaiah 40-45. Particular attention is given to basic units of composition (couplets, triplets, quatrains, etc.), grammatical parallelism, semantic parallelism, and the relationship between these last two. A topic of secondary importance is the length of poetic lines. After a few paragraphs on the purpose, importance, and overview of the dissertation, the first chapter reviews recent research on the central issues to be dealt with in the study, and then explains the method and terminology to be used in the analysis of parallelism. Chapter II analyzes 266 basic units from the Hodayot, consisting of 647 poetic lines. The third chapter is a statistical summary of the results obtained in Chapter II concerning kinds of basic units, line length, degree of semantic parallelism between the lines, degree of congruence between grammatical and semantic parallelism, grammatical rewrites, internal parallelism, ellipsis and compensation, repetition, parallel unit set structures, and categories of semantic parallelism. The fourth and final chapter compares the statistics from the Hodayot with those from similar studies in early biblical poetry, Isaiah 1-18, and Isaiah 40-45. Enough similarities are found among the four corpora to show that they all belong to the same basic prosodic tradition. Among the differences that distinguish the Hodayot from the biblical corpora are the following: larger ratio of triplets to couplets, more strophes of more than four parallel lines, fewer lines of three grammatical units, more lines of more than four grammatical units, more triplets with a 2:2:2 grammatical unit count, a greater variety of grammatical unit counts, less repetition in consecutive lines, more parallelism of grammatically divisible semantic compounds, less surface level grammatical parallelism, more semantic parallelism and deep level grammatical parallelism between verbal clauses and infinitive phrases, and less parallelism between single words (as opposed to phrases and clauses).

Stephen A. Geller
Douglas K. Stuart
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Library at the Katz Center - Archives Thesis. BM488.T5 W555 1991.
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