<wayyiqtol> again

Galia Hatav ghatav at aall.ufl.edu
Thu Dec 30 09:04:59 EST 1999

Peter Kirk wrote:

>Now I wish that you had been able to make a slightly different
>analysis of QATAL and WEQATAL, to determine the relationship between E
>and R, as defined by Galia. For my thinking (which could be confirmed
>or disproved by the type of analysis which you have done but with
>different categories) is that the Hebrew verb system is built around
>distinguishing relationships between E and R, and that S is of minor

	This is, more or less what I suggested.  Prior (1967), Mittwoch
(1988) and others suggest that S is the default (unmarked) R-time. In other
words, S is some kind of R.  Languages such as English or Modern Hebrew,
encoding tenses (past, present, future), assign a special "status" to S.
Thus we may have in those languages all or some of the three possible
PAST:    R < S     (i.e., R precedes S);
	Since BH does not encode tenses, S does not have a special status
in BH. Thus, as you suggested, what it does is to encode the relationship
between E and R (which I defined as "aspect"). So what we need to do for
every clause is to determine what the R is (is it S or some other time
determined explicitely or implicitely by the context), and what
relationship it holds with E.

I would also suggest that the waw conjunction, when
>prefixed directly to the verb only, rather than the verb form is what
>signals the building of a new R time, i.e. it functions rather like
>the conjunction "then" in English. Thus both WAYYIQTOL and WEQATAL
>would build a new R time, and that is the essential difference between
>these two and the forms QATAL, YIQTOL.

	Jouon suggests that this <W> is similar to the Arabic <FA> (and it
happens to be homonymic with <W> which parallel Arabic <WA>).
	However, I would not say that this prefix functions like the
English "then". This will fail to explain the existence of <wayyiqtol>
verbs at the beginning of a narrative or in isolation.  Note also, that
there are words for "then" in BH -- <WE'AXAR>, <'AXAREY XEN>


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