• Dean A. Forbes



Traditional approaches to the linguistic dating of Biblical Hebrew (BH) have produced many innovative results. However, because of inattention to the disruptive effects of textual noise and to the overfitting of textual features to restricted texts, these results have exhibited limited generalisability. In recent years, there have been proposals to include additional parameters in analyses. Lately, a construct from innovation theory, the s-curve, has been informally taken up by a few BH diachrony analysts. Not surprisingly, initial results have been approximate and provisional due to the idealised assumptions made. Future work along these lines must provide for features that are non-monopolising, non-monotonic, and fluctuating. Concurrently, the methods and inferences associated with traditional analyses have been questioned. For example, Young, Rezetko and Ehrensvärd have asserted that attempts to date biblical writings linguistically are ab initio illegitimate. I disagree.


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How to Cite

Forbes, Dean A. 2016. “THE DIACHRONY DEBATE: A TUTORIAL ON METHODS”. Journal for Semitics 25 (2):881-926.



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