What are the elements of Biblical Hebrew (BH) verse? Much headway has been made in terms of describing the features and devices that find expression in BH verse, but there is more to be said particularly about the distinction between verse and prose. Though BH verse is governed by a terse poetic line, it also exhibits “”relaxed”” syntactic structure, wherein certain syntactic constructions that would be unviable in prose are acceptable. One such construction is the occurrence of constituent postponement in the verbal clause, such as postverbal subject- and object-postponement as well as verb-postponement. This cross-disciplinary study evaluates statistical evidence from a broad sample of BH verse, investigates the instances of actual constituent postponement, and employs the work of the Russian Formalist critic Victor Shklovsky on defamiliarization to explain the function of constituent postponement in the sample texts.
Dr. Mark Futato