[b-hebrew] no to aspect
furuli at online.no
Sat Feb 5 04:27:29 EST 2011
The word "idiosyncratic" is defined as "a tendency, type of
behaviour, mannerism, etc., of a specific person; quirk." The word
has negative connotations and focus on the person rather than on the
data. Scholars should not argue ad hominem, but they should point to
My dissertation is entitled, "A New Understanding of the Verbal
System of Classical Hebrew An Attempt to Distinguish Between Semantic
and Pragmatic Factors." This means that the conclusions are different
from those found in grammars and monographs. Scholars often
disagree, but disagreement without knowing in detail the data and
viewpoints of the other part, is hardly good scholarship.
There are several reasons why my dissertation should be studied:
1) It is the only work on Hebrew verbs where all the 79,574 finite
and infinite verbs of the Tanakh, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the old
Inscriptions and Ben Sira have been studied. (it contains tables with
the analysis of 2,106 passages with 4,261 verbs.)
2) It is the only work on Hebrew verbs that scrupulously has
distinguished between semantic meaning (uncancellable meaning) and
conversational pragmatic implicature (cancellable meaning taken from
3) It is the only work on Hebrew verbs that has not started with a
particular definition (an a priori definition) of the imperfective
aspect and perfective aspect, but instead has used the fundamental
linguistic parameters deictic center, event time, and reference time.
Therefore, the definition of aspect is a result of the study of
Nir started this thread by denying that aspect is a part of the
verbal system of Classical Hebrew. But he does not want to tell us
the definition of what he rejects. So, I ask you: What is the
definition of the perfective aspect and the imperfective aspect? If
the perfective definition is "complete/whole," as your article seems
to suggest, can you please elucidate this definition.
The definition " completed," which also is used by some to define
perfectivity, can be understood, because it is seen in relation to
time: the action is finished before speech time. But how can we see
that an action expressed by a verb is "complete" or "whole"? In
relation to what can we understand this completeness or wholeness?
If this is your definition, can you give a few examples from the
Tanakh of verbs or clauses that are complete or whole, and others
that are not complete or whole?
> >Dear Bryant,
>> No, all the prefix forms are imperfective in all genres, and all the
>> suffix forms are perfective in all genres.
>That expresses a VERY idiosyncratic viewpoint. Some/most would say a non-
>Hebrew viewpoint. Rolf has argued it on list and in his dissertation.
>There are, of course, formal, semantic, and pragmatic distinctions between
>wayyiqtol and yiqtol, recognized by almost all who have studied the
>Semitic evidence, apparently recognized by the LXX, Syriac, and targumists
>as well as conforming to the 'transmitted text'. aka MT.
>This list probably doesn't need to repeat everything that has been said
>Randall Buth, PhD
>randallbuth at gmail.com
>Biblical Language Center
>Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life
>b-hebrew mailing list
>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
More information about the b-hebrew