The form of weqatal (really wayyiqtol)

Henry Churchyard churchyh at
Fri Aug 20 01:09:05 EDT 1999

> Subject: Re[4]: The form of weqatal (really wayyiqtol)
> From: peter_kirk at
> Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 09:19:46 -0400

> To clarify the matter, as I see it there are two largely separate
> issues here:

> 1) Are there one or two prefix conjugations?

> 2) Is the prefix on WAYYIQTOL the conjunction WE- or something 
> different?

> My thinking on issue 1), based on Henry's phonological arguments and 
> even without looking at WAYYIQTOL (i.e. looking just at jussive and 
> full YIQTOL forms), is that there are two prefix conjugations.

> Question 2) is I think still wide open, though I feel that if the 
> prefix is not simply WE-, it is most likely WE- plus some other 
> element (possibly analogous to the article, cf. the distinction 
> between B:YOWM and BAYYOWM).

Yes, but a distinction should be made between the diachronic
separateness of *yaqtulu and *yaqtul and the synchronic separatness of
yiqtol and wayyiqtol.  What I claim to have shown is that
_diachronically_ Tiberian wayyiqtol and normal yiqtol go back to
phonologically separate forms, and so were historically originally two
separate conjugations.  But this earlier separateness of the two
conjugations in phonological and morphological form has actually been
eroded somewhat by the time of attested Hebrew, and my phonological
methods can say almost nothing whatever about the question of the
semantics of the forms in Biblical Hebrew.  So the following still
could possibly be true of a synchronic syntactic/semantic analysis:

> Subject: Re[3]: The form of weqatal (really wayyiqtol)
> Author:  dwashbur at at internet
> Date:    18/08/1999 00:17

> the phonological discussion - at least my part of it - only involves
> the origins of the prefix conjugations with and without waw, i.e did
> Hebrew originally have one prefix conjugation or two?  I don't think
> my view of the syntactic force of the wayyiqtol (or the other
> conjugations) rises or falls on that.

Henry Churchyard   churchyh at

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