Verbs in Ps 18 ans 2 Sam 22

Paul Zellmer zellmer at
Thu Sep 3 23:02:00 EDT 1998

Bryan Rocine wrote:

> Dear Fiends,
> I wonder why my earlier question did not illicit any responses on-list.


> Is it o.k to try my own answer to my own question?  At the off-list
> prompting of some list members, I shall.

I was sort of hoping you would.  Bryan, you are at least one of the list's "resident
expert" (if not the main one!) on the discourse analysis approach.  I'm still spending
too much time "arguing" with your grammar.  Actually, it's not arguing.  It's more my
attempt to reconcile your wording, which is designed for the uninitiated, with the
points of grammar being brought out.

> A comparison of Psa 18 and 2 Sam 22 indicates that the allegedly magical
> morpheme, the so-called "vav(or waw)-conversive," no matter what exactly it
> is called,--Oh, boy, I shouldn't say many scholars, so much
> weighty tradition!!!-- does not exist.  The prefixed "narrative morpheme"
> <vav-patakh-dagesh forte> on a yiqtol has discourse function rather than
> conversive power.  It makes *explicit*(like the English words _then_ and
> _so_) the consecutivity of events that is left implicit without it.

You're saying that the differences in the two passages show changes in the explicit
consecutivity, but you still aren't clarifying the *significance* of the changes.  Is
it just the result of the poetical form?  This appears on the surface to be a case
*against* the predictability of the significance of texts using only grammatical
features, *against* the discourse analysis methods.  How do *you* resolve the apparent
instability of forms?

> There really is no great shortage of "un-vavved" yiqtols which represent
> single, past events, for instance, over 20 of them following the particle
> _)az.
> Bryan
> I had written:
> >B-Haverim,
> >
> >Here's a comparison of some of the verb forms in Psa 18 and 2 Sam 22(the
> verse numbers conveniently correspond) which are essentially the same poem.
>  How can this be?
> >
> >Verse   root    Psa 18      2 Sam 22
> >
> >7       $m(     yiqtol      wayyiqtol
> >12      $yt     yiqtol      wayyiqtol
> >14      r(m     wayyiqtol   yiqtol
> >15      $lx     wayyiqtol   yiqtol
> >16      glh     wayyiqtol   yiqtol
> >24      hyh     wayyiqtol   wayyiqtol
> >                 (short)      (long)
> >38      )sg     weyiqtol    wayyiqtol
> >39      npl     yiqtol      wayyiqtol
> >44      pl+     yiqtol      wayyiqtol
> >

To expand on your question, how can this be, if the discourse analysis process has any


Paul and Dee Zellmer, Jimmy Guingab, Geoffrey Beltran
Ibanag Translation Project
Cabagan, Philippines

zellmer at

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