[b-hebrew] VERBS

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman joel at exc.com
Wed Jul 27 10:55:22 EDT 2005


>I would like to use telicity as a example.
>The book  "A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics" 4th ed, by David
>Crystal (2001) says that telicity refers "to an event where the activity has
>a clear terminal point. Telic verbs include fall, kick, and make". Let us
>look at the Hebrew equivalents for two of these verbs, namely, BR) (create)
>and NPL (fall). I am quite sure that Hebrew children knew that the end was

Looking at the ancient Hebrew isn't useful, because we don't know the
answer.  Rather, I think, we should look at English, and see that the
claim doesn't hold up.  Based on that, I think we have to assume that
it doesn't hold up in Hebrew, either (or, indeed, in any language of
which I am aware).

Regarding "fall":  "The Devil created an endless pit and Korah fell
forever, never hitting bottom." (Please forgive the fanciful content
of my example.)  Your assertion

>something was made. And when NPL was used, every child knew that the person
>or thing falling would not remain in the air, but would meet some kind of
>end.

just seems wrong.


>So I ask: Are there situations where the telicity of BR) and NPL can be 
>blotted out or changed by the context?

Yes.  That's my point.

-Joel



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