peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Sep 22 15:38:31 EDT 2005
On 22/09/2005 18:23, Vadim Cherny wrote:
>> Vadim, only yesterday you wrote:
>>> Just a single example of clear usage of yiqtol as past tense or
>>> would suffice for me to retract. But something clear, like
>>> "yesterday he
>> You asked for a single example, but I gave you two, which you have
>> apparently accepted as "where yiqtol cannot be read as future". Now you
>> want more examples? Instead you should keep your promise and retract.
> Didn't you write, "I accept that these examples can be translated into
> English with
> "would", and into Russian with a 'historic perfective future' tense"? ...
Yes, but whatever I said about them the point is that you accepted these
as cases "where yiqtol cannot be read as future". Anyway, I have made it
clear many times that English "would", at least in this sense, is not
future. And I pointed out that this use of the Russian so-called future
tense for something in the past implies serious doubt about whether it
is really a future tense.
> ... And then, I explained why the odd "future perfect" is just future
> tense with
> deictic shift, not a separate mood or tense. ...
But it is not "the odd", this is a regular and rather common usage, over
1000 times in the Hebrew Bible.
> ... Those who don't accept future
> with deictic shifts and idioms, wind up inventing a separate mood for
> turn and every idiom. And then, they claim that those moods are "not
> exactly" future, ...
No, I claim that this usage of YIQTOL is not future, not at all future,
has no relationship to the future at all. It is an imperfective form
referring to a past continuous or repeated event.
> ... that they are something hypothetical else. Of course, there
> are some shades of meaning. But when you say in English, "You will do
> imperative turn, you don't dispute general use of "will" as future tense.
> Likewise, yiqtol is future, sometimes used for idioms, etc specifically
> derived from future tense.
YIQTOL is not at all analogous with this use of the English "will" form.
YIQTOL is NOT future, in biblical Hebrew. You promised to retract this
claim when I provided the evidence. I provided the evidence. Now you
will retract it, future imperative - at least if you want to retain any
credibility at all.
> Perhaps we are talking about more or less the same thing.
> I don't assert that all yiqtols are "future reference from the point
> of view
> of narrator's contemporaries."
> I dispute that yiqtols are imperfects, or any given mood. ...
No one here has said that YIQTOLs are "imperfects" (Russian имперфект),
for this is a label for a type of tense like English "I was doing" or
the Russian imperfective past. The claim is that YIQTOL represents the
imperfective aspect, corresponding to the Russian несовершенный вид,
which can be past, present or future but must be continuous or
repetitive. The general appropriateness of this identification is
quickly obvious when you look at the actual usage of YIQTOL especially
in the past and the present, although I accept that YIQTOL may also be
used for future actions which are not continuous or repetitive, which in
Russian would be expressed by the perfective future.
> ... I accept that some yiqtols (more of them in emphatic narration,
> such as are
> common in Tanakh) refer to the past events (contemporaries viewpoint),
> describe future events when we account for deictic shifts.
> I accept that some yiqtols are used as idioms (such as ci-yiqtol) in the
> fashion of English "would." The etymological sense of these idioms is
> future, but narrators likely used idioms without that deep thought. ...
Well, I agree that the narrators used YIQTOL without understanding them
as future, and that implies further that we agree that this is not a
future tense. But I disagree about the etymology - at least, if the kind
of derivation you propose is true, it must have taken place in the
proto-Semitic period, as more or less the same structure of forms
equivalent to QATAL, YIQTOL and the imperative is common to almost all
> ... Some yiqtols are intelligible as future tense in Hebrew and
> Russian, but not
> in English.
> What I insist on, is that non-straight-future uses of yiqtol are clear
> the context, leaving no room for interpretation, ...
I see absolutely no room for interpretation as future in Genesis 2:6,10
- unless you are claiming that the Garden of Eden is future?
> ... and that by default yiqtols
> should be read as future tense, unless the immediate context (not
> interpretational needs) call to the contrary. (A kind of thing you do
> when encounter "will" in English: take for the future tense by
> default, and consider idiomatic usage if future is clearly inapplicable.)
> Vadim Cherny
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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