Prototype Theory and Hebrew Tense/Aspect

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Thu Dec 16 20:21:14 EST 1999


I think Rolf Furuli has in the past provided several examples of 
non-past WAYYIQTOLs. I have attempted to explain many of these as 
relative past, and some I have suggested as errors for WEYIQTOLs. A 
reasonably clear example of the latter is Psa 18:14 WAY.AR:("M, where 
some MSS and 2 Samuel 22:14 have YAR:("M, and the verse continues with 
a YIQTOL verb. The simplest explanation is that the Psalms text should 
have been pointed W:YAR:("M, and the meaning is the same as in 2 
Samuel. No doubt some other cases not indicated textually could be 
discovered, at least tentatively, by componential analysis. By the 
way, note that I am not excluding poetry from this study, while 
realising that there may be a higher proportion of non-prototypical 
forms and idiomatic usages in poetry.

As for the special cases wrt sequentiality, I am thinking of the 
examples of this which you have put forward in the past.

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re[5]: Prototype Theory and Hebrew Tense/Aspect
Author:  <dwashbur at> at Internet
Date:    15/12/1999 17:22

I'd be interested to see some examples of some of these, 
especially the exceptions to past and examples of suggested mis-
pointings.  I'd also be interested to see what you consider "special 
cases" wrt sequentiality.

> Rather off the top of my head, I would say that the features of 
> WAYYIQTOL which we have mentioned come to the fore as follows: 
> +past           usually, not always especially where context is future 
> +perfective     almost always, perhaps always (?)
> +realis         almost always, perhaps always (?)
> -dependence     not quite sure what you mean by this one

Syntactically dependent or connected to another (previous) clause. 
Examples would be coordination, apposition, governance by a 
temporal clause, that sort of thing.

> -subordination  I'd need to look more closely at this one

Subordination most often happens in BH by means of KY or )$R, 
that the type of clause I denote by "subordination."

> and if for now we allow a feature from a different level: 
> +sequential     usually, except in hendiadys and some special cases 
> I would also suggest a small secondary focus made up of cases in which 
> WAYYIQTOL is actually a mis-pointing of WEYIQTOL.
> Peter Kirk

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list