This monograph addresses 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, law collections, and omens. Eran Cohen discusses the linguistic nature of each genre and the relation of its nature to its formal function. Conditionals often express modality (the supposition, or the potential factor) but they actually 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 are provided with a syntactic characterization, so that the peculiarity of each conditional sequence is differentiated from all other potential sequences.
Additionally, language experts will find a detailed discussion of the values of verbal and other predicative forms in the various conditional structures occurring in the corpus. The differences between superficially similar conditional patterns are stated and explained, and the functions of the conditional patterns are described. Many traditionally difficult points are treated and given suitable solutions. Each chapter includes linguistic glosses and general discussions that will give linguistic typologists a framework for understanding the conditional system of Old Babylonian.
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