Use of the definite article and object marker in Hebrew - overview
This page investigates the use in Biblical Hebrew of the definite article ha-, and object marker ’eth-. The definite article is not found in Ugaritic, old Akkadian, or Egyptian. The direct object of a sentence is indicated by a case ending in these languages, rather than by a prefix marker. It has been suggested that an intermediate stage in Hebrew might have been a prefixed t-, finally evolving to ’eth-.
The companion pages look at poetic and narrative portions of the Old Testament to ascertain if there is any supporting evidence for a scarcity of these prefixes in earlier portions.
The conclusions are as follows:
- Poetic portions give strong support to the suggestion that earlier writings use the definite article and the object marker less. The picture that emerges from measuring these markers is consistent. In particular, low counts of both values are strongly correlated.