[b-hebrew] Daniel 6:27 (time indefinite) II
furuli at online.no
Fri Nov 18 02:25:04 EST 2005
See my comments below.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peter at qaya.org>
To: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 12:05 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Daniel 6:27 (time indefinite) II
> On 17/11/2005 23:38, Karl Randolph wrote:
>>The "core meaning" (which I think you introduced in this
> I borrowed the term "core meaning" from Rolf because this was something
> we could agree on against you. But to me and I think to Rolf, the "core
> meaning" is does not necessarily correspond to the meaning of each
> individual occurrence. So finding some examples of non-eternal `olam (if
> there are any) would not demonstrate that the "core meaning" is not
>>... goes back to our discussions on whether or
>>not lexemes have basically one meaning or many. As for
>>me, I still maintain that lexemes have one basic meaning
>>for each time period, but that they can change over time.
>>Also we need to keep in mind complex lexemes (where
>>two or more lexemes used consistently together can have
>>its own meaning separate from each component lexeme)
>>and idiomatic phrases.
>>That one meaning may have a broad semantic use, or
>>narrow one, or may even be a total subset of another one,
>>but that doesn't change the basic pattern.
>>This is the way people use language.
> No it isn't, Karl. There are many English words which do not have a
> basic meaning in this sense. Think of "get" or "run", which by no means
> always mean anything like the possible "core meanings" "obtain" and
> "move fast with one's legs" respectively.
>>Translators often find that the semantic range of one
>>lexeme in an originating language may overlap two or
>>more semantic ranges in a receiving language, hence an
>>accurate translation can use two or more lexemes to
>>render the meaning of the originating language. But that's
>>a problem of translation, not language use.
> I agree with you here, but it isn't a problem for me but a normal matter
> of translation. The only problem is that Rolf and others like him do not
> recognise that this is a problem.
I discuss the mentioned problem in my first book on Bible translation
(Furuli 1999:3-9), so I certainly am aware of it. I would like to stress
that in my translation work, when I have translated documents from different
Semitic languges into Norwegion, I use an idiomatic method. And the reason
is the target group. Nevertheless, I see the high value of literal
translations like NWT for other target groups.
You have spoken of the etymological fallacy (J. Barr (1968) "The Semantics
of Biblical Language" has a fine discussion). But you have repeatedly
comitted what I would call the "meaning fallacy" (i.e., you have used the
word "meaning" without qualification, as if "meaning" is one and the same
thing). For example, you have said that NP$ has several "meanings". If
"meaning" in this case refers to "lexical meaning in Hebrew", I disagree,
and I would argue that NP$ has only one meaning (there is no diachronic
difference in the use of NP$ in the Tanakh). I equate lexical meaning with
the concept in the mind signaled by the word inside a particular
presupposition pool. Some Hebrew words can signal more than one concept and
therefore have more than one meaning.
I use the principles of Psycholinguistics as a point of departure (J.
Aitchison (1989) "The Articulate Mammal An Introduction to
Psycholinguistics"; (1993) "Words in the Mind: An Introduction to the Mental
Lexicon"). The background for the use of the "core" of a concept, is the
tendency of people in Psycholinguistic experiments to have an idea of an
ideal exemplar of a concept, a "prototype". The robin has for example been
viewed as more "birdier" than the ostrich and the penguin. Hebrew concepts
cannot be defined, they could only be known by those having the same
presupposition pool. The best we can do is to look at all the occurrences
of NP$ to get an idea of a "prototype," and that can be "a living creature".
The "core sense" relates to this "prototype". The context indicates which
part of the concept the author wants to make visible in a particular clause
(and that is not always the core), or the reference of the word in the
clause. What is made visible, or the references are not different "(lexical)
meanings" of NP$, because the word has only one lexical meaning. This seems
to be close to what Karl is saying.
When translators of a literal translation choose one English word to
represent the "prototype" or core of the concept, that does not necessarily
represent ignorance on the part of the translators (we should not be quick
to doubt others motives or abilities). It simply represents one legitimate
approach to translation, namely to try to convey the Hebrew concepts to
modern people and let the readers do much of the interpretation. When the
translators of idiomatic translations find English words for what is made
visible in a particular clause (situation), or what is referred to, this is
a legitimate approach as well. Such translators interpret the text to a
much greater extent than those who make the literal translation, and much
more theology is introduced in such a translation , but many readers want it
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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