Conversations with Scholars Series: A conversation with Prof. Scott Noegel

Submitted by Rick Aguilar on

A conversation with Prof. Scott Noegel about his open-access book “Wordplay” in Ancient Near Eastern Texts.

Monday, May 15, 2023, 5 – 6 p.m. Via Zoom. Join the conversation:

This will be an “all access” event that will be completely open for questions from attendees after a few brief introductory remarks.

The monograph offers a comparative study of the various functions that wordplay serves in ancient Near Eastern texts and provides a comprehensive classification for the phenomenon.

Languages covered include Sumerian, Akkadian, Egyptian, Ugaritic, biblical Hebrew, and Aramaic. The monograph also examines definitions of “wordplay” by exploring ancient conceptions of words and the generative role of scripts (consonantal, syllabic, and pictographic). Also discussed are issues of terminology, genre, audience, grammaticality, interpretation, and methodology.  

The book further considers the distribution and preferences of these devices among the languages and discusses a number of principles and strategies that inform their creation, such as ambiguity, repetition and variation, delayed comprehension, metaphor and metonymy, clustering, and the use of rare words. The book concludes by suggesting potential avenues for future research.

Download a free copy of the book at: