Muraoka’s Morphosyntax and Syntax of the Septuagint

There’s a new grammar coming to town and it looks like it’s going to be a big one!

A Morphosyntax and Syntax of Septuaguint Greek by Takamitsu Muraoka (Amazon)

Here’s the blurb from the publisher (Peeters-Leuven):

This is the first ever comprehensive analysis of the morphosyntax and syntax of Septuagint Greek. The work is based on the most up-to-date editions of the Septuagint. The so-called Antiochene version of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles as well as Judges has been studied. Though this is a synchronic grammar, and though not systematic, comparison with Classical Greek, the Greek of contemporary literature of the Hellenistic-Roman period, papyri and epigraphical data, and New Testament Greek has often been undertaken. Even when analysing translated documents of the Septuagint, the perspective is basically that of its readers. However, attempts were made to determine in what ways and to what extent the structure of the Semitic source languages may have influenced the selection of this or that particular construction by translators. At many places it is demonstrated and illustrated how an analysis of the morphosyntax and syntax can illuminate our general interpretation of the Septuagint text.

There were proofs at SBL this year. Sadly, I didn’t attend, otherwise I would have done some perusing and given some comment on it. I haven’t reviewed anything for a while, but this, well, this I would certainly consider.

9 thoughts on “Muraoka’s Morphosyntax and Syntax of the Septuagint

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  1. I haven’t seen the table of contents yet so I’m intrigued what Muraoka means by “morphosyntax” here. The use of “morphosyntax” rather than “morphology” suggests that rather than discussing actual forms, only the features that interface with syntax will be discussed. As that seems an odd choice, I’m eagerly awaiting more information.

    1. I know exactly what you mean. Considering that there is no true syntax of Greek in existence, I’m full of curiosity. Granted, I know Muraoka, while brilliant, is not theory-oriented, I’m keeping my expectations tempered. Still, a new grammar is exciting.

    2. Muraoka defines morphosyntax as dealing with functions and grammatical values of various parts of speech and inflectional catagories. Syntax is defined as 1. Dealing with how substantives are expanded. 2. Paragraphs with how the verb is expanded. 3. Macro-syntactic questions such as concord, coordination, and word order. He states he was 74 years old when he began this book. Amazing!

      1. I didn’t have any sort of high hopes that he would do anything less than traditional, but I was thoroughly disappointed when I looked through his table of contents. This is another grammar that I’ll own, but it isn’t the grammar that I’m looking for.

        1. That’s exciting!

          I’m not sure when I’ll be able to set aside the funds for a copy now. But I really want to get my hands on it…

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