[b-hebrew] Hithpael functions (was Question for Rolf on the JW outlook on the Hebrew)
if at math.bu.edu
Sat Mar 24 19:46:31 EDT 2007
In Genesis 42:1 TITRAU = AT-HI-AT-RA-HU with all four personal
pronouns referring to the sons of Jacob. I think that RA is 'fear',
not "see'. Thus, the question there, is, in my opinion: "why are you
scaring yourselves (or each other)?" Going down to the heart of Egypt
was certainly a difficult and scary undertaking for the brothers to
It is risky to question such a venerable authority as KJV, but "Why
do ye look one upon another?" appears to me to be an awkward and
unnatural figure of speech. It is, nevertheless, better then "Why are
you scratching your heads and twitching your noses?"
Isaac Fried, Boston University
On Mar 24, 2007, at 11:51 AM, K Randolph wrote:
> Dear David:
> Thanks for your response.
> On 3/23/07, David Kummerow <farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Karl,
>> Comments below:
>>> You have repeatedly mentioned the use of "yesterday", ...
>> Again, the issue is raised in the literature and potentially impacts
>> Rolf's work is why I raised it (eg in Buth's grammar). We've been
>> this, so I won't reiterate (see my previous post to you), but to add
>> that I actually agree with Rolf on qatal being the same verb as
>> weqatal is used differently, though, mainly as a cosubordinate verb,
>> sometimes in hypothetical/conditional constructions, and purpose/
>> constructions, so this does not negate the fact that as qatal it
>> is not
> Yes you did mention it before, and for that I thank you. I mentioned
> it again only for completeness within this discussion.
>> An interesting question to ponder is: if an ancient Israelite were to
>> utter the following to another, how would they be construed:
>> פָּקַדְנוּ אוֹתוֹ
>> נִפְקֹד אוֹתוֹ
>> אֲנִי פֹּקֵד אוֹתוֹ
> In each of the cases, in particular the last, I need more of the
> context. In the last example, depending on the how the context frames
> it, the participle can act either as a noun emphasizing who is the
> actor or as the equivalent of a present tense verb, of which there are
> a few examples in Tanakh.
>>> On 3/22/07, David Kummerow <farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Note that grammaticalisation can also EXTEND meaning. There's
>>>> plenty of
>>>> stuff on this in the linguistic literature. Regarding BH verbs,
>>>> this is
>>>> likely to have occurred with, say, the hithpael. The range of
>>>> is neatly described by Anstey 2005: 74-76, ie reflexive,
>>>> motion, naturally reciprocal, anticausative, and generic
>>>> passive. It
>>>> likely that meaning has been extended over time towards the
>>>> passive, but
>>>> it has not lost its reflexive function. Some, eg W-O, claim that it
>>>> expresses even the passive and not just generic/gnomic passive.
>>>> But do
>>>> you see the problem if I were to follow your method? What is the
>>>> uncancellable semantics denoted by the hithpael binyan? The more
>>>> we move
>>>> to "passive" the less "reflexive" the semantic, but the more
>>>> the semantics, the less "reflexive". However, similarity exists
>>>> anticausative and generic passive and similarly reflexive and body
>>>> motion and reciprocal. But if I were to strictly follow your
>>>> you have applied to the verbal system, I am indeed very hard
>>>> pressed to
>>>> find a common denominator between all of these "functions"....
>>>> David Kummerow.
>>> In this case, how many of these functions are the result of
>>> lexicographic methodology, and how much the result of different
>>> functions? Can you cite examples of each of all of these claimed
>>> Sorry, I don't mean to put you on the hot grill, but I haven't seen
>>> all those functions in the hitpael. All I have seen is the reflexive
>>> usage, though my understanding of reflexive may be broader than
>>> or the authors' above.
>> Examples are from Anstey's article and dissertation:
>> Reflexive: Gen 24:64 "and she covered herself".
>> Body motion: Gen 24:40 "and he walked about".
>> Naturally reciprocal: Gen 42:1 "you look at each other".
>> Anticausative: Isa 29:14 "[insight] will vanish".
>> Generic passive: Prov 20:11 "a child is recognised [by his deeds]".
> I was right, I do have a more expansive understanding of reflexive
> than does at least Anstey. We both agree with Genesis 24:65. Verse 40
> does not refer to body motion, rather it is more of an idiomatic
> phrase referring to living his life, and within that idiomatic phrase
> it is used reflexively. Genesis 42:1 is an example where I have a
> broader understanding of reflexive than others, as I understand mutual
> interaction within a group as a type of reflexive. In Isaiah 29:14
> "insight" is the actor, the subject, so again this is somewhat of an
> idiomatic use of the hitpael where insight hides herself. Finally,
> Proverbs 20:11 is reflexive in that a youth makes himself recognized,
> what sort of person he is, by his repeated actions, again clearly a
> reflexive use.
> The examples above show that looking at action as primary instead of
> form affects not only lexicography, but also the understanding of
> grammar. With the exception of understanding reciprocal actions as a
> type of reflexive use, all the other examples are reflexive as
> commonly understood.
>> Waltke and O'Connor argue even for passive, see pp. 424ff.
> Sorry, I don't have access to that book.
>> French "se" covers the same range of functions as BH Hithpael.
>> "-sja" misses reflexive but adds passive. Each of these similarly
>> presents problems for Rolf's methodology.
>> Regarding the questions, everybody is unanimous these days that
>> paragogic nun is only attached to the long prefix verb and ditto
>> for the
>> third-person pronouns augmented with nun. I think the same could
>> be said
>> about the status of the other features diagnostic of the short prefix
>> verb vis-a-vis the long prefix verb.
> Thanks. I have noticed the paragogic nun, but as it has minimal affect
> on lexicography, if any, I have not studied its distribution. But in
> so far that it is a sign of grammaticalization, and as far as it has
> been described to me, Rolf's dissertation is about grammaticalization,
> I agree that he should at least address the question of the paragogic
> nun, either why it is not important or what is his answer to it.
>> David Kummerow.
> Karl W. Randolph.
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