M.E. Kaajan MA

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Monday - Friday

As part of the NWO-funded research project ‘Does Syntactic Variation reflect Language Change? Tracing Syntactic Diversity in Biblical Hebrew Texts’, I will study variation in the internal structure of noun phrases and prepositional phrases (e.g., length, complexity, strategies for combining phrases) and variation in the frequency and use of certain particles and prepositions in the Hebrew Bible. My PhD research aims to register the frequency patterns in which these variant structures in non-verbal phrases occur and compare their distribution within various syntactical and textual divisions of the corpus (which also includes some selected extra-biblical texts), making use of the linguistic database developed at the Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer as well as sociolinguistic methods to search for clustering of variants. After completing this systematic analysis, which encompasses the whole Hebrew Bible (including Aramaic portions), and which focuses on syntax (rather than vocabulary) as a less consciously used and therefore more stable component of language, possible conclusions might be drawn as to whether the attested variation may indicate language change or could be attributed to other factors like dialect, genre, author style, influence of foreign languages, transmission history, or random use of the available possibilities.

Education and relevant academic experience
- MA Linguistics (cum laude), Specialization Bible Translation, VU University, 2012
- BA Linguistics (cum laude), Minors Biblical Hebrew, Swahili and African Linguistics, Leiden University, 2010
- Student assistant Articulatory Phonetics, a course taught in Dutch and English at Leiden University (2007, 2008, 2010) and in French at Université Shalom de Bunia, D.R. Congo (2013)