[b-hebrew] no to aspect
randallbuth at gmail.com
Tue Feb 8 05:11:07 EST 2011
> Is there anything in the morphology of the
> WAYYIQTOL that would contradict the view that the prefix only is a
only differences between wa- and we-,
degree of consistency of wa- with 'short yaqtel'/yaqom/ya`as,
and comparison with the rest of the 'w' structures.
> THE LXX:
> It is true that the LXX often, but not always, uses an aorist when
> the Hebrew text has a WAYYIQTOL.
. . .
> imperfect could have been a
> candidate, but its use is much more restricted than the use of
> YIQTOL and WAYYIQTOL. Therefore, that the LXX translators
> often used the aorist to translate WAYYIQTOL.
Maybe we aren't looking at the same texts?
Greek did NOT prefer to use the aorist when the HB has a
real yiqtol in narrative.
The Greek imperfect is used fairly often, maybe consistently,
when you find a yiqtol in a narrative.
Including Gen 2.6 ANEBAINEN and 2.25 HSXYNONTO.
(And LXX switched to aorist at 2.7 with the MT wayyiqtol,
just like at Gen 1.3-4.)
If you look at a classic locus of imperfectives,
Gen 29:2-3, you will find all in the Greek imperfect.
On the other hand, the aorist in Greek is used LESS frequently
than the wayyiqtol because Greek likes more 'nuance' between
imperfect and aorist in its narratives. Better translators in Greek
increase the use of participles and imperfects when facing a
string of wayyiqtols. Some translators like Josh-Judges do the
opposite, being slavish to the Hb.
In addition, note that when Old Greek chooses a
participle in narrative they tend to choose aorist!
Yet other translators like Sm-Kg,
have quite a few 'historical presents', properly used in
Greek scene settings,
and usually for verbs of motion that are complete and
bounded before the next event
the present is being used for rhetorical effect,
not to mark aspect for event overlappings.)
Hmm, do participles used in historical present contexts
tend toward aorist or imperfective (PARATATIKOS,
*!* a new request *!*
Maybe you can provide us with the statistics of how often a
narrative yiqtol is translated by an aorist, and how often by
an imperfect? That might be interesting.
How often is a wayyiqtol translated by a 'present' participle and
how often by an aorist participle? (My request is coming 'blind'--
I haven't pre-counted anything. The participle may be a nice test
because it allows nuanced, aspectual marking, without otherwise
Doubtlessly there will be some interesting exceptions, but you
should find that true narrative Hb imperfectives tend toward
imperfect and 'present' (PARATATIKH) participles,
while wayyiqtols tend toward aorist participles and aorist verbs.
On Daniel's Aramaic verbs, they are certainly lively, though your
statistics seem to mask what was going on. Compare the
differences in Ezra's.
As to Syriac and targumim being from a 'tensed'-time period,
they still are able to distinguish aspect, too. Mishnaic Hebrew,
too. In fact, we find heightened aspectual sensitivity in MishHb
where constructions like 'be doing ...' start to proliferate. I
attribute this to the influence of Greek, where aspect was so
prominent. Greek was much more sensitive to aspect than Bib
Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
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