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Bibil Identifier bibil:204464
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Erwägungen zur Etymologie der althebräischen Modalpartikel nāʾ
Author Jenni, Ernst
Journal Theologische Zeitschrift (Volume: 65, Issue: SH)
Year (Publication) 2009
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2009
Year (Copyright) 2009
Year (Reference) 2009
Year (Second publication) 2009
Language German
Pages 18-27 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The etymology of the Hebrew particlenāʾ is not clarified. For the actual signification of the word the etymology is unauthoritative; it nevertheless can perhaps explain the use of nāʾ as a modal particle in imperative sentences (enclitically after imperative / adhortative / jussive / cohortative, also after another particle). From its context and its distribution in different speech acts (command / exhortation / advice / permission / request) there can be inferred the German translation «doch» (unstressed) as a pragmatical means to soften the resistance in an addressee against a seemingly unreasonable demand (there is no exact English equivalent; mostly one has resort to «please» or «now»). The derivation of the particle as an independent lexeme from -anna, the ending of the reconstructed modus energicus in north-west-Semitic languages (yaqtulanna), has little probability because of the numerous hypothetical assumptions. As far back as 1840 W. Gesenius in his Thesaurus pointed in passing to an analogy to German modal particles (Abtönungspartikeln).nāʾ could be derived from the root nʾh «to be beautiful / lovely / suitable / convenient» and could be translated approximately with «kindly / be so nice». This hypothesis is improvable, yet it is still worth considering.
Terms נא
Last modification 2011-06-21