<wayyiqtol> again

peter_kirk at sil.org peter_kirk at sil.org
Fri Dec 24 11:31:53 EST 1999


This point of yours seems quite counter-intuitive to me. The start of 
direct speech is surely the start of a discourse which has no 
syntactic connection to the speech introducer - because the speech 
introducer was added later, was not part of the original discourse. As 
for the common case of sentences with the structure:

<time adverbial> <QATAL verb> <rest of sentence>

(I think Genesis 1:1 is in this category, Daniel 1:1 certainly is), 
are you really saying that the QATAL verb is dependent on the time 
adverbial? And then we have sentences like Job 1:1:

<noun> <QATAL verb> <rest of sentence>

in positions where there can be no syntactic connection with anything 
which precedes. Now arguably the focus is on the fronted element, 
whether adverbial or noun, and the verb is less focused. Is that what 
you mean by syntactic connection and dependence? That seems odd 
terminology to me. Or are you trying to claim syntactic dependence on 
some previous sentence? Unfortunately, in Daniel and Job that doesn't 
work (nor in Genesis, on my analysis).

My feeling (following Prof. Niccacci) is that we need to separately 
analyse X-QATAL and sentence initial QATAL. I would then characterise 
X-QATAL as [-focus], [-foreground] or something of the sort, which 
would be my analysis of all non-sentence initial verbs. The rare 
sentence initial QATAL (in direct speech only I understand - is that 
true?) can be distinguished from WAYYIQTOL by some such feature as 
[-continuation], and even that becomes tricky when we look at the 
starting WAYYIQTOL of Jonah 1:1 etc which we then have to analyse as 
some sort of implied continuation.

Thanks to Galia for bringing this topic up again.

Happy holidays,

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: <wayyiqtol> again
Author:  <dwashbur at nyx.net> at Internet
Date:    23/12/1999 15:41

>  I think Dave got acurate intuition, that <wayyiqtol> is independent, as 
> opposed to <qatal>. However, I think that this independence is not
> syntactic (see the first clause in Gen 1:1 and clauses in direct speech).

In my approach, following a temporal expression as in Gen 1:1 and 
beginning direct speech constitute syntactic connections.  Sorry 
that wasn't clear.


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