Robert Holmstedt

1. Academic Position

University of Toronto

2010 – , Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations

2005 – 2010, Assistant Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilization


2. Education

2002 Ph.D., Hebrew and Semitic Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison

2001-2002 Rothberg School (Modern Hebrew) and (observer) the Institute for Advanced Studies (Northwest Semitic Philology), Hebrew University in Jerusalem

1997 M.A., Hebrew and Semitic Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison

1995 B.A. (cum laude), Biblical and Theological Studies, Wheaton College



3. Research Interests

Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages

Comparative and Historical Semitic Linguistics

Generative Linguistics

Hebrew Bible (especially myth and wisdom literature)



4. Publications

a. Ph.D. Thesis.

2002. The Relative Clause in Biblical Hebrew: A Linguistic Analysis. (Download PDF file)


b. Books

2010. The Book of Ruth.The Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press.

2013. Linguistic Studies in Phoenician Grammar: In Memory of J. Brian Peckham (Co-edited with Aaron Schade). Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns.

2013. Beginning Biblical Hebrew: A Grammar and Illustrated Reader. (co-written with John A. Cook.) Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

In preparation. The Relative Clause in Ancient Hebrew(tentative title). Linguistic Studies in Ancient West Semitic. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns.

In preparation. Intermediate Biblical Hebrew: An Illustrated Reader. (With John A. Cook.)

In Preparation. Phoenician and Punic Epigraphs. (With Philip C. Schmitz.)

In Preparation. An Introduction to Phoenician and Punic. (With Philip C. Schmitz.)

In Preparation. The Book of Esther. The Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press. (With John Screnock.)

In Preparation. The Book of Ecclesiastes. The Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press. (With John A. Cook and Phillip Samuel Marshall)


b. Book Chapters

2013. The Grammar of שׁ and אשׁר in Qohelet. Pp. 283-307 in The Words of the Wise Are Like Goad: Engaging Qohelet in the 21st Century, ed. Mark Boda, Tremper Longman III, and Cristian Rata. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. (Download PDF)

2013. The Syntax and Pragmatics of Subject Pronouns in Phoenician. Pp. 84-110 in Linguistic Studies in Phoenician Grammar: In Memory of J. Brian Peckham, ed. Robert Holmstedt and Aaron Schade. Winona, Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. (Download PDF)

2013. With B. Elan Dresher. Clitics: Pre-Modern Hebrew. Pp. 458-63 in the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Volume 1: A‒F, ed. Geoffrey Khan. Boston/Leiden: Brill. (Download PDF)

2013. Hypotaxis. Pp. 220-22 in the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Volume 2: G‒O, ed. Geoffrey Khan. Boston/Leiden: Brill. (Download PDF)

2013. Pro-drop. Pp. 265-67 in the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Volume 3: P‒Z, ed. Geoffrey Khan. Boston/Leiden: Brill. (Download PDF)

2013. Relative Clause: Biblical Hebrew. Pp. 350-57 in the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Volume 3: P‒Z, ed. Geoffrey Khan. Boston/Leiden: Brill. (Download PDF)

2012. Historical Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew. Pp. 97-124 in Diachrony in Biblical Hebrew, ed. Cynthia Miller-Naudé and Ziony Zevit. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. (Download PDF)

2012. Wolf, Herbert M. (rev. Robert D. Holmstedt). 1-2 Samuel. Pp. 254-313 in The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary, ed. Gary Burge and Andrew E. Hill. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

2005. Word Order in the Book of Proverbs. Pp. 135-54 in Seeking out the Wisdom of the Ancients: Essays Offered to Honor Michael V. Fox on the Occasion of His Sixty-Fifth Birthday, ed. R.L. Troxel, K.G. Friebel, and D.R. Magary; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. (buy the bookdownload PDF file)


c. Journal Articles

2014. (co-written with Andrew R. Jones). 2014. The Pronoun in Tripartite Verbless Clauses in Biblical Hebrew: Resumption for Left-Dislocation or Pronominal Copula? Journal of Semitic Studies 59(1): 53-89. (Download PDF)

2013. The Nexus between Text Criticism and Linguistics: A Case Study from Leviticus. Journal of Biblical Literature 132 (3):473-94. (Download PDF)

2013. Investigating the Possible Verb-Subject to Subject-Verb Shift in Ancient Hebrew: Methodological First Steps. KUSATU: Kleine Untersuchungen zur Sprache des Alten Testaments und seiner Umwelt 15 3-31. (Download PDF)

2011. The Typological Classifications of the Hebrew of Genesis: Subject-Verb or Verb-Subject? The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 11(14):1-39. (Download from journal)

2009. אני ולבי: The Syntactic Encoding of the Collaborative Nature of Qohelet’s Experiment. Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 9(19):1-26. (Download from journal)

2009. So-Called First-Conjunct Agreement in Biblical Hebrew. Pp. 105-29 in Afroasiatic Studies in Memory of Robert Hetzron: Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the North American Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics (NACAL 35), ed. C. Häberl. Newcastle on Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars. (Download PDF file)

2009. Word Order and Information Structure in Ruth and Jonah: A Generative-Typological Analysis. Journal of Semitic Studies 54(1):111-39. (JSS websiteDownload PDF file)

2008. The Relative Clause in Canaanite Epigraphic Texts. Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages 34(2):1-34. (JNSL websiteDownload PDF file)

2008. The Restrictive Syntax of Genesis i.1.Vetus Testamentum 58(1):56-67. (VT websiteDownload PDF file)

2007. The Etymologies of Hebrew ’ăšer and šeC-. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 66(3):177-91. (JNES websiteDownload PDF file)

2006. The Story of Ancient Hebrew אשׁרAncient Near Eastern Studies 43:9-28. (ANES websiteDownload PDF file)

2006. Issues in the Linguistic Analysis of a Dead Language, with Particular Reference to Ancient Hebrew. The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 6(11):1-21. (Download from journal)

2003. Habakkuk 3:16—Where Did the אשׁר Go? Hebrew Studies 44:129-38. (Download PDF file)

2001. Headlessness and Extraposition: Another Look at the Syntax of אשׁרJournal of Northwest Semitic Languages 27(1):1-16. (JNSL websitedownload PDF file)

2000. The Phonology of Classical Hebrew: A Linguistic Study of Long Vowels and Syllable Structure. Zeitschrift fur Althebraistik 13(2):145-56. (Download PDF file)


d. Review Articles

2003. Adjusting Our Focus (review of Katsuomi Shimasaki, Focus Structure in Biblical Hebrew: A Study of Word Order and Information Structure). Hebrew Studies 44: 203-15. (Download PDF file)


e. Reviews

2013. Review of Qumran Cave 1, II: The Isaiah Scrolls. Part 1: Plates and Transcriptions; Part 2: Introductions, Commentary, and Textual Variants. Discoveries in the Judaean Desert XXXII. Eugene Ulrich and Peter. W. Flint, with a contribution by Martin G. Abegg, Jr. 2010. Oxford: Clarendon. The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 12:1-4. (Download PDF file)

2013. Review of Annick Payne, Hieroglyphic Luwian: An Introduction with Original Texts; 2nd revised ed. Subsidia et Instrumenta Linguarum Orientis 2; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010. Review of Biblical Literature. (Download PDF file)

2011. Review of A Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature, by Joseph A. Fitzmyer (Eerdmans, 2008). Dead Sea Discoveries 18(1):91-92. (Download PDF file)

2011. Review of What are the Dead Sea Scrolls and Why Do They Matter?, by David Noel Freedman and Pam Fox Kuhlken (Eerdmans, 2007). Dead Sea Discoveries 18(1):92. (Download PDF file)

2011. Review of The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Short History, by Weston W. Fields (Brill, 2006). Dead Sea Discoveries 18(1):93-94(Download PDF file)

2010. Review of Alan S. Kaye, ed., Morphologies of Africa and Asia (2 Volumes)Review of Biblical Literature. (Download from journal)

2009. Review ofWilliams’; Hebrew Syntax. Third Edition Revised and expanded by John C. BeckmanUniversity of Toronto Quarterly’s ‘Letters in Canada’ 78/1:156-58.  (UTQ websiteDownload PDF file)

2009. Review ofWord Order Variation in Biblical Hebrew Poetry, by Nicholas LunnJournal of Semitic Studies 54(1):283-85. (JSS websiteDownload PDF file)

2008. Review ofAncient Place Names in the Holy Land: Preservation and History, by Yoel Elitzur. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 67(4):307-308. (JNES websiteDownload PDF file)

2008. Review of William Schniedewind and Joel Hunt,A Primer on Ugaritic Language, Culture, and Literature. Review of Biblical Literature(Download from journal)

2008. Review of The Cambridge Biblical Hebrew Workbook: Introductory Level by Nava BergmanJournal of Hebrew Scriptures 8. (Download from journal)

2006. Review of Verb Movement in Biblical Aramaic, by Adriaan Lamprecht.Hebrew Studies 47:436-39. (Download PDF file)

2006. Review of Reading Hebrew: The Language and Psychology of Reading It, by Joseph ShimronThe Linguist List (Download from journal)



5. Conference Papers and Invited Lectures

2013. With John Screnock. Whither Esther? A Linguistic Profile of the Book of Esther. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Baltimore, November 24.

2013. Taming the Digital Leviathan: Building Digital Research Tools for the Study of the Ancient Levant. Paper read at University College Senior Common Room Luncheon, Toronto, March 18.

2012. Reading Through the Noise: KAI 30 With Fresh Eyes (and Better Photos). Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Chicago, November 21.

2012. Where Do We Set the Bar in Biblical Language Training? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Chicago, November 19.

2012. Constituents at the Edge in Ancient Hebrew. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Oriental Society, Boston, March 16.

2011. The VS to SV Shift in Ancient Hebrew—Earlier than Later? Paper presented at Mainz International Colloquium on Ancient Hebrew, October 29.

2011. The Nexus between Text Criticism and Linguistics: A Case Study from Leviticus. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Fredericton, NB, May 30.

2010. The Holmstedt-Abegg Syntactic Database of Ancient Hebrew: Underlying Principles. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, November 21.

2010. Understanding and Using the New Syntax Searching Capabilities in Accordance 9. Paper presened at the Accordance User’s Conference, Dallas, September 25.

2009. Historical Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Syntax: A Study in MethodPaper presented in the National Association of Professors of Hebrew meeting (in conjunction with SBL), New Orleans, November 22. (revised and forthcoming in Zevit and Miller-Naudé)

2009. ‘Tripartite Nominal Clause’ or Pronominal Copula? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, New Orleans, November 22. (under revision)

2009. Dating the Language of the Book of Ruth. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies. Ottawa, May 23. (Download PDF draft)

2008. The Syntax and Pragmatics of Pronouns in Northwest Semitic Epigraphic Texts, ca. 1000-500 B.C.E. Paper presented at the annual meeting of SBL. San Diego, Nov. 22. (revised and forthcoming in Holmstedt and Schade)

2008. Explorations in Linguistics and Biblical Studies: Pronoun Problems. Lecture delivered in the Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame, March 11.

2007. Pronominal Syntax in the Book of Qoheleth. Paper presented at the Association of Jewish Studies Annual Meeting. Toronto, Dec. 17. (revised and published in JHS)

2007. The Relative Clause in Northwest Semitic Epigraphic Texts. Paper presented at the annual meeting of SBL. San Diego, Nov. 18. (revised and published in JNSL)

2007. The Ancient Hebrew Relative Clause in Typological Context. Paper presented at the annual meeting of SBL. San Diego, Nov. 18.

2007. Agreement Issues in Biblical Hebrew. Paper presented at the 35th North American Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics. San Antonio, March 16. (published in NACAL 35 proceedings, ed. C. Häberl)

2006. The Distribution of אשׁר and שׁ in Qoheleth. Paper presented at the annual meeting of SBL. Washington, D.C., Nov. 19. (revised and f.c. in Boda, Longman, and Rata)

2006. The Restrictive Syntax of Genesis 1.1. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies. Toronto, May 28. (revised and published in VT)

2006. ʾăšer and šeC-: Are They Related or Not? Paper presented at the 34th North American Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics. Seattle, March 17. (revised and published in JNES)

2005. What Linguistics Has to Offer Ancient Hebrew Studies (and What it Doesn’t). Paper presented at the annual conference of the Association of Jewish Studies. Washington, D.C., Dec. 19. (revised and published in JHS)

2005. Topic and Focus in Biblical Hebrew if it is an SV Language. Paper presented at the annual meeting of SBL. Philadelphia, Nov. 20. (revised and published in JSS)

2004. The Diachronics of אשׁר. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of SBL. San Antonio, Nov. 21. (revised and published in ANES)

2003. Word Order and Information Structure in Proverbs. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of SBL. Atlanta, Nov. 24. (revised and published in Fox FS)

2002. Resumption in Biblical Hebrew Relative Clauses. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of SBL. Toronto, Nov. 21.

2002. Resumption in Biblical Hebrew Relative Clauses. Linguistics Seminar, Department of English, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Apr. 6.

2002. Resumption and Restrictiveness in Biblical Hebrew Relative Clauses. Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto, Jan. 10.

2001. Is Biblical Hebrew a VS or SV Language? Paper presented at the Annual meeting of SBL. Denver, Nov. 19.

2001. Invited Lecturer, The Biblical Hebrew Relative Clause. Advanced Hebrew Grammar Seminar, Dept. of Hebrew and Semitic Studies, Univ. of Wisconsin, Feb. 5.

2000. אשׁר: A Generative Syntactic (Re-) Analysis. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of SBL. Nashville, Nov. 20. (revised and published in JNSL)

2000. Dislocation and Topicalization in Biblical Hebrew: A Generative Syntactic-Pragmatic Analysis. Paper presented at the Midwest meeting of SBL. Chicago, Feb. 14.

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