The form of weqatal (really wayyiqtol)

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Sat Aug 14 21:34:38 EDT 1999

John wrote:
> Dave Washburn wrote:
> >
> > > > In brief, I do not consider the WAW prefix to be a conjunction, and
> > > > hence I don't consider it to have any "conversive" force in the
> > > > traditional sense that the term has been used.  Rather, I consider
> > > > it to be an inflectional morpheme that is actually part of the
> > > > Hebrew verb system itself, and it is this inflectional morpheme that
> > > > carries the sense of syntactic break.  The fact that it resembles
> > > > the conjunction in its surface form does not make it a conjunction
> > > > any more than the fact that HE- interrogative resembles the definite
> > > > article means it has to be a form of the definite article (an
> > > > analogy I've presented many times here).  We have such homonyms all
> > > > over Hebrew, yet when we get to the WAW prefix we seem to have a
> > > > blind spot.
> > >
> >
> (Henry)
> > > I don't know if it has "conversive force", but it certainly seems to
> > > have "conjunctive force" -- or why don't we see w at wayyiqtol or
> > > uwayyiqtol (whichever form the conjunction w at - would take on when
> > > attaching to a word already beginning with w-, something which doesn't
> > > occur in the Bible)?
> >
> > My approach predicts that this would be the case, because
> > conjunction/coordination would suggest a syntactic connection.  If,
> > as I submit, the wayyiqtol indicates a syntactic break, it wouldn't
> > be expected to take a conjunction.  To say that the prefix must
> > have conjunctive force because it doesn't take a conjunction is a
> > non-sequitur.  A syntactic break is the antithesis of conjunctive
> > force.
> >
> Dave, you're asking us to believe that wayyiqtol is a verb form that (1)
> NEVER takes the conjunction, though all other verb forms do; (2) NEVER
> is preceded by things that precede other verbs like KIY, 'ASHER, LO',
> etc. etc.

I see nothing extraordinary about (2), since it's well known that 
wayyiqtol in fact isn't preceded by any of these particles.  As for 
(1), I believe that's exactly what I said.  The forms that Henry 
hypothesized do not in fact occur, which as I said is exactly what 
my approach predicts.  I'm afraid I don't understand your problem 

> Also that all translators and interpreters since the LXX are wrong in
> seeing the WA- as a conjunction!

Uh-huh.  So such a thing can't happen?  Explain the Hebrew word 
PYM to me.

> All because you think it is POSSIBLE (!) to explain the evidence apart
> from distinct yaqtul/yaqtulu verb forms that have mostly merged in BH? 
> I think you need to do some rethinking here.

That's certainly your prerogative.  And I didn't just say it's possible, 
John.  I said it provides a simpler and more unified account of the 
data.  You're free to harangue all you want, but it does nothing to 
advance intelligent discussion of the matter.

Dave Washburn
"Oh, no!  They've all become giant Swiss lederhosen-clad
dancing yodelers!"  "Talk about unpredictable!" - P&B

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