[b-hebrew] Hebrew grammar, (was Zech 6:8)
farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 25 05:57:49 EST 2005
I can't take too much time as I'm very busy at the moment - and I don't
want to get involved in another of those forays disputing whether the BH
verbal system is tense-, aspect-, or mood-prominent! Anyway, some of my
> Dear David,
> Allow me to ask a few questions.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "David Kummerow" <farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com>
> To: "Herman Meester" <crazymulgogi at gmail.com>; <b-hebrew at
> Sent: Friday, November 25, 2005 5:04 AM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Zech 6:8
> > Gday Herman.
> > In my view, "tenses" are an OK starting point with the BH verbal system
> > in that in my view the verbal forms are prototypically used to make
> > tense distinctions. However, with a system of only a few forms in a
> > world in which more semantic distinctions than tense are necessary, of
> > course the verbal forms can be, and are, used to make aspectual
> > distinctions: perfective, imperfective, etc.
> Do you by "tense" mean "grammaticalized location in time" or just "temporal
Sort of. Even though BH only has a few forms, the necessary semantic
distinctions needed in communication still falls to the few forms. In
this way, I take it that both tense and aspect are grammaticalised in
Hebrew, along the lines of Randall Buth's position (although I am not
convinced that weqatal is a separate form to qatal). Neither tense-only
or aspect-only view is sufficient for BH. Tense can be neutralised for
the expression aspect in the future (as the "aspectual" position will
demonstrate; but neither is the aspectal view sufficient in that it does
not answer why qatal is both statistically dominant and unmarked in the
expression of anterior in the clause types identified in Zevit's
monograph as well as the data of qatal being used as past non-perfective.
But then I'm not sure of what you're driving at in your distinction
between "grammaticalized location in time" and "temporal reference". If
you're question is to determine whether I am making a mistake on the
view that sematics involves non-cancelability and pragmatics involves
cancelability, I simply don't buy the rigid distinction (I thus agree
with Peter Kirk).
> What does "prototypically" mean?
Simply what it means: the usual, typical, unmarked (etc, etc) use. I'm
sure you know what it means as you used the terminology in your
discussion with Peter Kirk on 'olam.
> . I don't
> > know of any grammar that has yet to work with a seven vowel system, even
> > though this view has become pretty much the consensus outside the
> > grammars.
> What does it mean "to work with a seven vowel system"?
Have a look at, eg:
Khan, Geoffrey. "Tiberian Hebrew Phonology." Pages 85-102 in Phonologies
of Asia and Africa (Including the Caucasus): Volume 1. Edited by Peter
T. Daniels. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1997.
Khan, Geoffrey. "Vowel Length and Syllable Structure in the Tiberian
Tradition of Biblical Hebrew." Journal of Semitic Studies 32 (1987): 23-82.
> > Sincerely,
> > David Kummerow.
> Best regards
> Rolf Furuli
> University of Oslo
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