vayyiqtol differ yiqtol #1
ButhFam at compuserve.com
Fri Jan 8 06:26:19 EST 1999
i think some of the confusion over definitions will clarify itself by
discussing the following
>Do you have good arguments for WAYYIQTOL being different from YIQTOL?
>How in the world can a simple conjunction have such a tremendous
>Has anybody explained this satisfactorily?[end quote]
Those are three nice questions.
i have put them in different emails to keep the threads separate.
1. Are there good arguments for WAYYIQTOL being different from YIQTOL?
a. this has extensive different morphology in hebrew, both in the forms of
the verbs as well as the conjunction. notice the word 'extensive'. there
are individual cases where 'short' forms of lamed-yud verbs are not used
and the 1st person forms vacillate between short/long and normal. but the
overwhelming pattern is there.
b. confirmation of this historical reality can be found in a clear example
like arabic with a vestigial 'short prefix verb' used in negated
perfective/past contexts. ugaritic is supportive but problematic in mainly
being poetic, where poets can actually play with the forms, and
fragmentary. phoenician, aramaic, moabite, akkadian all have supporting
roles to play, though none are hebrew, of course.
c. vav with prefix verbs are vocalized differently. that is a massoretic
d. vav with suffix verbs pattern with different accents, though
e. thousands of times in the bible within sentence-like 'trajectories'
wayyiqtol will pattern with qatal. also, veqatal will pattern with yiqtol.
[nb-this does not mean that the semantic tense-aspect-mood is "induced"
from one to the other. for induction a single "sequential" form would have
sufficed. the two forms signal their respective tense-aspect-mood on their
[nb--i do not claim that the vayyiqtol and qatal forms are absolutely
equivalent, only that the tense-aspect-mood 'stuff' is similar. see email
f. ancient translations [lxx, aram] confirm this broad equivalency of
vayyiqtol with qatal and of veqatal with yiqtol.
question 1 has been discussed on this list.
i think it safe to say that 99% of hebrew scholars acquainted with the
above evidence have found the above arguments to be overwhelming.
the same is true of scholars in israel or from israel.
there are always examples of a 1%. there is a well-known linguistic [talmy
givon, nb-not a biblical hebrew scholar] who got wrong answers to some very
good questions because he lumped vayyiqtol together with yiqtol [though his
major mistake was mixing genre: article on word order (1977?) saying that
BH already shifted to SVO order by second temple times.]
on a practical side for students and those learning biblcal hebrew:
i think students need to be careful not to unconsciously internalize
something like: "i can't know this, or nobody can know this, or nobody
knows hebrew to this day".
more practically, biblical students will want to learn massoretic hebrew.
dissolving vayyiqtol and veyiqtol is not massoretic hebrew.
More information about the b-hebrew