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William Douglas Pickut,Literary Genres in Poetic Texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls,Abstract,December 8, 2016,Among the texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, there are four literary compositions that bear the superscriptional designations שׁיר (shir) and מזמור (mizmor). These designations correspond directly to superscriptional designations provided many times in both the now-canonical Psalter and the various witnesses to those texts unearthed at Qumran. On its face, this fact seems reasonably to raise the question whether – and in what ways – the presence of the terms shir and mizmor is indicative of a generic relationship among the whole group of texts. This dissertation uses Functional Grammar and semantic grouping of key terms and phrases to examine whether any formal generic relationship can be identified in the surface structure of texts with the superscription designations shir and mizmor.,The study begins with a brief discussion of the overall state of inquiry, as well as definitions of key terms to be used (Chapter 1). This is followed by an exposition of interpretive method, including a discussion of Functional Grammar and its description of the Layered Structure of the Clause, as well as Dennis Pardee’s method for tracing the use of semantic content in Hebrew Poetry (Chapter 2). Chapters 3 and 4 show the findings for now-canonical texts (Chapter 3) and the non-canonical compositions (Chapter 4), including an exhaustive translation and analysis for the non-canonical compositions, with text critical and philological commentary (Chapter 4). Chapter 5 offers the following conclusions:,1. Even in the absence of a working definition for any generic category, it is still possible for authors to talk meaningfully about genres of literature, and for interpreters to evaluate putative members of any given class based on a comparison with similar compositions.,2. The biblical authors were able to produce works that they identified as shir and/or mizmor compositions, such that those texts adhere to a broad and statistically identifiable set of formal characteristics, which form a credible basis for evaluating the status of any given text as an exemplar of the genre.,3. The authors of 4Q400, 4Q404, and 1QHa were able gain a solid working knowledge of the formal characteristics common to biblical shir/mizmor discourse, and to produce texts that credibly resemble their model compositions.,4. Despite their success in reproducing many of the formal characteristics common among biblical shir/mizmor compositions, the Qumran authors did not move beyond mimicry of the earlier texts, or to make any serious contribution to the development of the form. ,The study includes two appendices: A.) a database showing data for the now-canonical poetry and prose as discussed in Chapter 3; B.) Examples of the pattern of expression described in Chapter 3 as characteristic of the now-canonical shir and mizmor texts.


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