אני ולבי - The Syntactic Encoding of the Collaborative Nature of Qohelet's Experiment
The language of the book of Qohelet has both intrigued and frustrated generations of scholars due to its abundant orthographic, morphological, syntactic, and lexical peculiarities. One linguistic feature that has not received proper attention, however, is the presence and syntactic position of the first-person subject pronoun אני, e.g., 1:16דברתי אני עם־לבי. The independent subject pronoun is variously described as pleonastic, a strategy for emphasizing the subject, and a strategy for marking an important narrative point. However, none of these descriptions accurately describe its use in the book, and so in this essay I will address the syntax and function of Qohelet's use of the first-person subject pronouns.