VadimCherny at mail.ru
Thu Sep 22 08:17:55 EDT 2005
>>> Genesis 2:6 YA`ALEH
>>> Genesis 2:10 YIPPARED
> I accept that these examples can be translated into English with "would",
> and into Russian with a 'historic perfective future' tense "used for
> graphic effect in past frequentative contexts, in literary and other
> written styles", as it is described in Wade's "A Comprehensive Russian
> Grammar" (second edition, Blackwells 2000, p.308). That does not imply
> that the Hebrew YIQTOL is a future tense, although (especially on Rolf's
> strict "uncancellable" definitions) it might imply doubt as to whether the
> Russian form is in fact a future tense.
This is exactly the ci-yiqtol idiom found elsewhere; only ci is implied.
Sure enough, it is not strictly future tense. But neither it is imperfect.
If anything, it is closer to future than to imperfect.
But let us consider why Russian (and, to certain extent, English, with
"would") uses future tense instead of any other. There must be some
etymological connection with future. To my Russian-speaking ear and mind,
the connection is there: deictic shift. Narrator tranposes himself into the
waterless world, he sees it. He tastes, lives the situation before the major
event he is going to describe. Like a sports commentator reviewing a
playback of past match: "Now he will move forward." It is a sense of
anticipation - of the coming future. The "perfective future" we discuss
indeed qualifies as future event - from narrator's shifted time reference.
Also note that "perfective future" leaves no leeway to interpretators - it
unambiguously refers to past events.
Would you suggest any other examples where yiqtol cannot be read as future?
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