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Title: Conditional Structures in Mesopotamian Old Babylonian
Author: Cohen, Eran
Publisher: Eisenbrauns; Publication Date: 2012
Hardcover; ISBN: 9781575062228
Volumes: 1; Pages: 200
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Cohen's monograph takes up the issue of conditional structures in Old Babylonian from a linguistic point of view. The genres that form the corpus for the study are letters, as well as law collections and omens. The inquiry concludes with a general discussion of the linguistic nature of each genre and the relation of this different nature to the functions of the forms. Conditionals often express modality (the supposition, or the potential factor) but are actually much more; they interface with many linguistic subsystems: clause-combining strategies, interclausal relations (for instance, the syntactic relationship between protasis and apodosis), syntactic patterns, syntactic units above clause levels (the essence of Old Babylonian macro-syntax); tense-related issues, the fundamental opposition between specific and generic, and more. All of the conditional patterns (there are several different patterns) are provided with a syntactic characterization, so that the peculiarity of each conditional sequence is differentiated from all other potential sequences.
Language experts will find, in addition, an in-depth, detailed discussion about the values of various verbal and other predicative forms in various conditional structures occurring in the corpus; the differences between superficially similar conditional patterns are stated and explained, and the functions of the various conditional patterns are described. Many traditionally difficult points are treated and given suitable solutions. The concluding sections of each chapter include lingustic glosses and more-general discussions that allow linguistic typologists to peek into the conditional system of Old Babylonian.