VadimCherny at mail.ru
Tue Sep 20 10:15:18 EDT 2005
>> I wote several times that I imagine only two possible ways to prove
>> deictic shift: psychoanalysis of a writer and analyzing the context.
>> Deictic shifts I mentioned are contextually plausible. ...
> In some cases, maybe, in other cases, no. Anyway, you need to do better
> than to say that the deictic shift is plausible, you need to demonstrate
> that it has actually occurred.
How, Peter, how? It is a matter of interpreting context, more or less
plausibly. By that logic, you should ask every translator to prove that the
writer meant a partuclar sense. Ask Rolf to prove that Isaiah meant "in his
death" rather than "high places" or "altars." Interpretation could be
plausible or no. Deictic shifts could be plausible or no. They cannot be
absolutely proven. Nor, for that matter, anything could be absolutely proven
in natural sciences. Poincare advanced an extreme version of that idea,
called conventionalism, that all knowledge is a matter of accepted
conventions. Back to reasonable, is it proved that the earth is round? No,
it is shown as plausible. Perhaps all the measurement scarried are wrong,
and astronauts lie. Is it proved that speed of light is the limit? No, it is
only shown is philosophically plausible, and entanglement challenges that
notion. Nothing could be proved, except in mathematics, and even there only
in a given system of axioms.
Put it another way, what is the proof of the aspect hypothesis?
> We agree that a hypothesis must be falsifiable to be properly scientific.
> What we disagree on is whether this particular hypothesis is falsifiable.
The tense hypothesis is easily falsifiable. If I cannot show, for the
counterexamples given, that either future tense or its derivatives (idioms,
deictic shifts) fit the context - and do so plausibly for detached
observers - then the hypothesis fails. Sure enough, we have an issue of a
detached reasonable observer. So far, I see your comments on the context as
You seem to accept that yiqtols, where not straight future or plausible
deictic shift, could be approximated with "would." The main part of our
quarrel is whether "would" is future tense. But I don't argue that either
"would" or the corresponding yiqtols in Hebrew are future tense. I say, they
etymologically derive from future tense. (Thus, when speaker describes a
habitual action, he is transposed into its midst, and seeing the action as
continuing into the future, he uses future tense; I suggest, this was the
original idea behind using "would" instead of any other word to describe
habitual action.) Thus, my point is that originally all yiqtols were future
tense; later, they diversified. In some cases, yiqtols do not refer to the
future. Such cases, however, are rare, explicit from the context, and do not
warrant disregarding tenses in overwhelming majority of verbs. To put it
another way, Hebrew do not explicitly differentiate between "will" and
"would." But that does not mean that yiqtol means aspects instead of
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