ex 26 + 36.8ff, (36.29)
furuli at online.no
Tue Jan 26 05:31:21 EST 1999
>>In Ex 36: 29,30 and 38 we find three weqatals with past
>this doesn't address the issue.
>nobody claimed/claims that the above are simple past.
>but they (weqatal) do represent the same basic "XXXXX color" as yiqtol.
>the point at issue was that whatever one calls/defines the hebrew verb,
>the vayyiqtol and qatal side together in that realm
>and that yiqtol and veqatal side together.
>before one starts trying to define the tense/aspect/mood relationships
>at least admit that
>vayyiqtol and qatal go together against
>veqatal and yiqtol.
>(admitting the above does not mean that 0% residuals remain
>or that the colors cannot be played with in poetry.
>but quoting 'time' residuals is irrelevant to the point.)
I do not understand what you mean by "side together". If you mean that the
normal pattern in narrative is to find wayyiqtol in sentence initial
position and qatal in medial position and that a normal pattern in accounts
about the future is to find weqatal in initial position and yiqtol in
medial position, I agree. But this is not the point. What we are
discussing, is the *semantic meaning* of wayyiqtol and weqatal, whether it
is different or similar to yiqtol and qatal respectively.
It stands to reason that when a wayyiqtol is found in a past context, it
can either represent past tense (the morphology signals past tense) or it
represents past meaning (the context signals that the meaning of the form
is past). The only way to deny this is to assume that *all* languages MUST
have tenses, i.e. "grammaticalization of location in time". Are you
When we agree that a verb with past meaning may or may not be a past tense,
the next step is to investigate this. Do you agree that a verb form that
codes for past tense is past tense in any context, and that apparent
contradictions must be linguisitcally explained? If you agree, all the
weqatals with past meaning falsify the claim that weqatal is future tense,
and therefore are the three examples from Ex 36 relevant.
The TAM system of yours seem to be somewhat like a chameleon if I
understand you correctly. Do you say that Biblical Hebrew has one or four
TAM-systems where we must decide in each case whether a verb represent
tense aspect or mood, or a blend of two or three of them? Is it for
instance possible that a verb may represent tense in one context and only
aspect in another? If this is your view, can you point to another language
where tense can be cancelled at will as would then be the case in BH? Does
a TAM-system with a possible cancellation of tense work in Ivrit?
A last point: There seem to be some confusion as to the genre-effect on
verbs. I claim that a verb in no way change its meaning whether it occurs
in narrative, poetry or direct speech (only the choice of verb forms may be
different). Do you agree with this?
Lecturer in Semitic languages
University of Oslo
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