Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Exegetical Theology

First Advisor

Paul Raabe

Scripture References in this Resource

Hosea 1:4; Hosea 1:6; Hosea 1:9; Hosea 2:2; Hosea 2:3; Hosea 2:14; Hosea 2:18; Hosea 2:23-25; Hosea 4:15; Hosea 5:8; Hosea 10:5; Hosea 5:2; Hosea 9:16; Hosea 14:9; Hosea 10:1; Hosea 10:6; Hosea 12:2-6; Hosea 12:8; Hosea 13:10, 14; Deuteronomy 4:2; Isaiah 10:14; Hosea 4:7; Hosea 5:1; Numbers 25:1; Micah 6:5


Fudge, Eric, J. Translating Pun and Play: Wordplay and Soundplay in Hosea. Ph.D. diss., Concordia Seminary, 2018. 312 pp.

Puns and plays of sound are distinguishing features of poetry and proclamation. Poetry uses these phonetic devices to structure passages, create euphony, or evoke emotional responses from audiences. Proclamation, particularly in a live setting, also uses sound to emphasize words or lines that encourage audiences to feel, respond, or memorize. Puns arrive in the form of wordplay, which uses similarity of sounds that create ambiguity. Soundplay also uses similarity of sounds but to establish euphony or aural tagging. These phonetic plays exist only within the confines of their native language and their effectiveness to communicate meaning entirely depends on audience’s ability to identify them. These devices’ dependency on their native language creates problems for translators to render meaning created by their sounds and also complicates translators’ ability to reproduce their sounds in translation. Where formal correspondence often eradicates phonetic plays from translation by prioritizing semantics, dynamic equivalence often sacrifices phonetic plays by prioritizing content. When these methods cannot reproduce the phonetic plays and their meanings, translators should translate these utterances with degrees of approximation that acknowledge pragmatic signifiers including the reading experience and the reading as experience. Using degrees of approximation enable translators to access unwritten pragmatic signifiers (signifiers expressing the effects that the meaning of a text has on interpreters) to recreate in translation the phonetic plays of the source text and their meanings.

The book of Hosea contains a significant amount of wordplay and soundplay utterances that demonstrate the importance of identifying them and reproducing their phonetic play for target audiences. Hosea exhibits phonetic play that irregularly weaves wordplay and soundplay in and out of the prophet’s utterances. This poetic artistry differs from much of modern day poetry and lyrical compositions where many popular level artists use similarity of sound in regular patterns and meter. The irregularity of phonetic plays in Hosea mark areas of emphasis where the prophet wants to evoke emotion and a response from audiences or enable audiences to better memorize and embrace a core principle of the oracle’s message.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.