Prototype Theory, qatal dependent?

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Thu Dec 16 08:17:06 EST 1999

> (washburn)
> > The most foundational features I would suggest for 
> >qatal are [+dependent +realis].  
> I would not go along with dependency for qatal, 
> unless you add dependency for vayyiqtol and veqatal (notice they are
> prefixed with vav) which i wouldn't recommend. 

They are prefixed with waw, but I have explained elsewhere why I 
don't believe it's the conjunction.

> qatal is very nice independently, including clauses without vav.

How about some examples?

> i only have a little problem with +realis, because of performatives and
> negative contra-factuals, but those can be special applications. 
> so i accept + realis
> though have used 
>    "+definite" 
> in my own publications.

Check out Hatav's book on this subject.

> the reverse problem occurs with yiqtol. 
> would you want to say that the past-imperfective use of yiqtol is 'minus
> realis'? "he used to do", "they were [not] ashamed"gen 2.25 (the negative
> is used with both qatal and yiqtol so is irrelevant to argument). again,
> one can define those as special applications. but "indefinite" or "minus
> definite" more clearly forces a broad, prototypical definition from the
> beginning.

Once again I suggest you check out Hatav.  She makes the case 
for the fact that generics and habituals fall under the category of 
modals.  So perhaps I should change [realis] to [modal] to avoid 
confusion; in this case wayyiqtol and qatal are [-modal] while yiqtol 
and weqatal are [+modal].  There's no need to appeal to "special 
applications" (I'm not sure what this means), and I certainly don't.  
In dealing with modality I use Galia's definition.

Dave Washburn
Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.
                                   Psalm 86:11

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