[b-hebrew] no to aspect
tensorpath at gmail.com
Thu Feb 3 16:22:39 EST 2011
Thanks for your comments.
And as I mentioned to Nir in a recent post, I personally ascertain tense, by
looking at the context. And most of the time, the context agrees with your
paragraph 2. When it does not, I simply let context rule.
It seems I will have to wait until the time travel machine arrives, before I
can discover why all the exceptions to your paragraph 2 rule, appear in the
masoretic text. ....
Perhaps they "will" agree with your paragraph 3. It's just a matter of
aspect .... :)
On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 2:34 PM, Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu> wrote:
> I really don't see here a "'problem" that calls for an explanation.
> 1. act +pp and pp+act are merely two possible ways (since we cannot put pp
> on top, nor at the bottom of act) to relate an actor to the act. You may say
> "I-eat banana", or "eat-I banana". They are both good, yet still with no
> hint in either about time.
> 2. Hebrew creates tense by decreeing that "eat-I banana" should indicate
> that the banana is already eaten, but that "I-eat banana" should indicate
> that the banana is on the verge of being eaten, but is, nevertheless, still
> on the outside.
> 3. And what if I say "eat-I banana tomorrow", or "I-eat banana yesterday"?
> Then, the teacher will wag his finger at me and say that I speak bad Hebrew.
> I will defend myself by saying that I have taken poetic license to use
> aspect instead of tense, and that anyway I am perfectly well understood.
> 4. Hebrew works very fine without VA-.
> Isaac Fried, Boston University
> On Feb 3, 2011, at 1:05 PM, fred burlingame wrote:
> Hello Isaac:
> Your opinions imply a simple explanation to the problem:
> 1. verb + pp = past tense;
> 2. pp + verb = future tense;
> 3. vav prefix reverses "1" and "2;"
> 4. context can, and frequently does, change "1" - "3."
> So, when reading the text, follow 1-4 for understanding of tense expressed
> by verb usage.
> fred burlingame
> On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 10:13 AM, Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu> wrote:
>> I see what you are saying, and mostly agree with it, except that I prefer
>> to look at it somewhat differently. For example, YI-CMAX, in Gen. 2:5,
>> consists of the verb CAMAX, of the root CMX, 'grow', plus the pre-attached
>> personal pronoun (pp), a.k.a identity marker, YI (which I consider a
>> truncated HIY, 'she') and standing here for ESEB HASADEH, 'the grass of the
>> It appears that the ancient Hebrews came early on to an agreement to the
>> effect that pp+act will indicate future action, but act+pp will indicate
>> past action (otherwise, Hebrew has no time markers). But it needs not always
>> be so. Thus, YI-CMAX is, on the face of it, just 'he-grow', no more and no
>> less. Conventionally this form is intended to indicate future action, but we
>> know by the time frame of the narrative, by the laws of nature, and also by
>> the preceding word TEREM, that reference is here to the past.
>> It appears to me that also YI-CMAX of Job 5:6 is but a statement of fact.
>> Yet, the A-CMIAX of Ez. 29:21 is certainly a future promise.
>> I have the feeling that YA-AL-EH of Gen. 2:6 is "repetitive".
>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
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