Call for Papers: Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Seminar (SBL 2019)

The Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew program unit solicits papers for four sessions at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting, 23-26 November 2019 in San Diego, CA.

The FIRST SESSION (co-sponsored with NAPH) is open and entitled “Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew.” Papers that address the study of Biblical Hebrew using a well-articulated linguistic theory and/or apply linguistics to particular Biblical Hebrew constructions or corpuses are welcome.

The SECOND SESSION is a thematic session entitled “The grammar of gender in Biblical Hebrew and its sociolinguistic representation.” Feminist biblical scholars explore extensively the construction of gender in ancient Israel but less attention has been paid to gender from a linguistic point of view as a grammatical “agreement feature” which has sociolinguistic implications. Papers are welcome that address agreement features of gender, poetic/semantic dimensions of gender as realized in parallelism and other stylistic devices, grammatically unmarked/mismatched gender of nouns, gender of deixis and/or abstract ideas, and their translation.

The THIRD SESSION, co-sponsored with Biblical Hebrew Poetry, is entitled “Conceptions of parallelism and other formal features of Biblical Hebrew poetry.” While parallelism has remained the central organizing feature of biblical poetry since its identification by Lowth, recent research reflects two trajectories: (1) modification of the concept of parallelism; and (2) proposals for other formal structuring features such as line length, rhythm, meter, and syllable counts. Papers that explore either of these trajectories from a linguistic viewpoint are welcome.

The FOURTH SESSION, co-sponsored with Ugaritic Studies and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy, is entitled “Sentence Syntax and Discourse in Ugaritic and Northwest Semitic (including Biblical Hebrew).” This session explores sentence syntax and discourse features in Ugaritic and Northwest Semitic languages. Papers addressing these issues from a linguistic viewpoint are welcome.

Submit an abstract to the Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Seminar (not Section) online at before 6 March 2019. All papers will be read and discussed. Everyone is welcome. For questions, contact Prof Jacobus Naudé <> or Dr. Tania Notarius