BH: Hebrew Aspects
rolf.furuli at east.uio.no
Wed Feb 23 06:00:52 EST 2000
>Cynthia Edenburg wrote,
>>1. Rolf and Peter wrote:
>>If we use statistics, we find that there is no significant
>>difference in the occurrences of WAYYIQTOL, YIQTOL, QATAL and WEQATAL in
>>the different books, so why should we expect a change in verbal meaning?
>>PK: Because scholars more competent than I am have alleged this; and
>>because languages change gradually and not by sudden steps. These
>>other scholars' arguments need to be answered in detail, not simply
>>dismissed. The matter is not a simple one of statistics
>>Peter further wrote:
>>I would view such examples of doublets in which a different verb form
>>is used, especially between Samuel-Kings and Chronicles, not as free
>>variation "without any difference in meaning", but as evidence that
>>and how verbal semantics changed with time
>>I would suggest that anyone interested in further pursuit of the verbal use
>>in Chr/Sam-Kgs carefully read A.J.C. Verheij, Words and Numbers; A Study of
>>the Frequencies of the Hebrew Verbal Tense Forms in the Books of Samuel,
>>Kings, and Chronicles, Assen/Maastricht 1990.
>>Verheij conducted a thorough statistical investation of the frequencies of
>>the various verb forms in these books, including a comparison of usage in
>>synoptic passages in Chr with non-synoptic passages. Any further discussion
>>without reference to his findings is ignoring the primary data. What further
>>need to be undertaken is an examination of the frequencies of verb forms in
>>other second temple Biblical texts, such as Esther, Hebrew prose passages in
>>Daniel, etc. to see how they corelate with the findings for Chr. If the
>>corelation is minimal, then one must form a hypothesis (probably not
>>diachronic) which explains this.
>>2. Peter wrote:
>>If I assumed a linguistic argument for dating Chronicles to the same
>>general period as Ezra and Nehemiah, then at least I am making the
>>same assumption as many others.
>>The date of Chronicles is not the problem with BH diachronics, but the
>>assumed Iron I provenence for MT Sam-Kgs.
>It is very fine that you refer to sources that should be consulted. To the
>benefit of those who do not have Verheij, s book at hand, I give a few
>Verheij draw the following conclusion (p 120) The increase of qatal forms
>is in the narrative material. It is partly at the expense of the Wa-yiqtol
>form and it can therefore probably be seen as heralding the replacement of
>Wa-yiqtol by qatal in postbiblical and modern Hebrew."
>We should stress the word "probably" because his material, in my mind, does
>not warant this conclusion, not even when it is qualified by "probably".
>His comparison of Samuel-Kings which he believs to be the Vorlage for
>Chronicles gives the following numbers (pp 114-116).
>In the synoptic material there are 658 WAYYIQTOL forms that are parellel
>with the WAYYIQTOL in the Vorlage.
>In 33 instances the *Vorlage* has another form than WAYYIQTOL where
>Chronicles has WAYYIQTOL (infinitive 4, participle 1, QATAL 17, WEQATAL 6,
>YIQTOL 1, WEYIQTOL 3).
>Is 30 instances the *Vorlage* has WAYYIQTOL where Chronicles has another
>form (infinitive 7, participle 3, QATAL 17, WEQATAL 2, YIQTOL 1, WEYIQTOL 1
>I cannot see that these numbers show any significant difference that can be
>the basis for a suggestion that verbal meaning has changed. One factor that
>Verheij has not taken into account, is the Aktionsart of the verbs. A
>YIQTOL or a QATAL with a stative verb *need not* make any difference in
>meaning because the durative nature of the ongoing state. And similarly
>with finetive verbs; with many durative verbs both forms can be used
>without any noticable difference in meaning (cf all the QATALs and YIQTOLs
>with present meaning). Thus a variation in use should be viewed against a
>difference in Aktionsart.
>Verheij shows an increase in the use of infinitives and participles in
>chronicles, but that is for another discussion
>University of Oslo
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