An Analysis of the Process Types and the Syntactic Role of the Existential Particle יֵשׁ (Yeš) in Biblical Hebrew: A Traditional-Systemic Functional Approach.

Multiple functions of a word can cause perplexity and lead the readers or interpreters to produce inaccurate analyses of the biblical text. Studying the syntax of a biblical language is one of the most fruitful studies since it will help one accurately understand the structure of a clause, which helps one to better analyze and apply the study for better interpretation of the Scripture.

This dissertation represents an extensive study of the Process types and the syntactical function of the existential particle יֵשׁ (Yeš) in Biblical Hebrew. There are two purposes for this. First, it is a comprehensive study of the particle in the entire Hebrew Bible. Every occurrence is analyzed in order to identify the function of the particle, and the clause-types in which the particle appears. Second, a combination of Traditional Grammar and Systemic Functional Grammar is utilized to analyze the particle. Both grammars provide a complementary aspect, that is, they complement each other to produce the results.

The purpose for this study is to precisely indicate the function of the existential particle יֵשׁ (Yeš) in every clause that it occurs. The reason for this study is that many Hebrew grammarians have indicated various functions of the particle. The main concern is whether this particle is a copula in its original usage or if it is a noun that is later used as a copula. The concern is also to analyze under what conditions this particle is used as a copula if it is used as a copula.

The study indicates that יֵשׁ (Yeš) is only used in incidents such as conversations or speech clauses, i.e., the conversations going on between two parties. This study contributes to the field of the Old Testament because no exhaustive analysis is done on the particle, especially in Biblical Hebrew, with the use of Systemic Functional Grammar.

The results of this study suggest that the particle יֵשׁ (Yeš) indicates the existence of something. In most clauses, the particle is in the predicate position of the clause, functioning as a predictor of existence, rather than a copula; it is also used in a particular types of clauses, such as existential, declarative, interrogative, and conditional clauses.