What ARE the clues for sequence in BH?

Henry Churchyard churchh at usa.net
Wed Dec 15 10:47:32 EST 1999

> Subject: Re: What ARE the clues for sequence in BH?
> From: Ian Hutchesson <mc2499 at mclink.it>
> Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 02:54:53 +0100

> It would be hazardous to attempt to apply discourse marking as
> information inherent in verb morphology.  Does anyone know of a
> language that codes narrative discourse information into the verb
> rather than coding some aspect which incidentally is appropriate for
> the discourse? I know of none. I would think then that sequence is
> derived rather than principal to the verb form in this case as well.

But the wayyiqtol form apparently contains the conjunction (wa-/w at -
"and, but") as part of its morphology.  That is, despite various
doubts and alternative hypotheses that have been raised over the past
century and more, the most likely historical origin of the Biblical
Hebrew wayyiqtol is still conjunction wa- + assimilating consonant +
yaqtul preterite tense.  (This pretty much remains the default theory --
despite certain long-standing unanswered question connected with it --
so that someone proposing a different account of the historical
origins of the Hebrew wayyiqtol would have to support it with highly
specific evidence to gain very widespread acceptance.)  Who knows what
the function of the mysterious assimilating consonant originally was
(it's possible that it might also have been a discourse-relevant
morpheme).  I don't know offhand of any other languages in which a
conjunction has been incorporated as part of verb morphology, but I
seem to remember that in Old Irish a relative clause particle was
incorporated as part of verb morphology.

Henry Churchyard   churchh at usa.net   http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/

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