welo'+qatal as negative wayyiqtol (To Niccatti)

Alviero Niccaccci sbfnet at netvision.net.il
Thu Jun 3 05:24:14 EDT 1999

Dear Moon-Ryul Jung,

Sorry for the osbscurities and errors of my previous message (below). I
will try to answer your  questions.

On  06/02/99 (RE: welo'+qatal as negative wayyiqtol (To Niccatti))
"Moon-Ryul Jung wrote:

	< ... >
> >
> > The affirmation that welo'+qatal is a negative wayyiqtol is based on a
> > number of observations.
> > First, this is the only negative structure for the past in BH;

1)>> it is used to negate not only wayyiqtol but also qatal and
(waw-)x-qatal. (Note >> that the waw is always optional in this
construction; it does not affect its
>> syntactic function in any way.)
> [Moon]
> What is this "it", which negates wayyiqtol, qatal, and x-qatal? Is it
> "lo'"?
---------- REPLY
1) Welo'+qatal negates wayyiqtol.

2)> > Second, x-qatal is negated with x+lo'+qatal, i.e. the negation lo'
> > tied to the verbform; no X element is not interposed in between. < ... >
> >
> > Therefore, if we find welo'+qatal inside a string of wayyiqtols, we are
> > pretty sure that its positive counterpart is wayyiqtol because, on one
> > side, initial qatal is not used in historical narrative and,
> [Moon]
> You are saying that welo'+qatal cannot be the negative of initial qatal in
> historical narrative, because initial qatal is NOT used in historical
> narrative.
> Right?
---------- REPLY
2) Yes.

3)> on the other side, x-qatal is negated with welo'+qatal as already
> [Moon] Do you mean "x-qatal is negated with x+lo'+qatal"?
---------- REPLY
3) Yes, x+lo'+qatal negates x-qatal, sorry.

4)>> A clear case of lo'+qatal as negative counterpart of initial qatal in
> > direct speech is *lo'-laqax yiSra'el* in Judg. 11:15 (contrasting 1:13).
> > Here, *lo'-laqax yiSra'el* is clearly a negative initial qatal because a
> > wayyiqtol is not found at the beginning of direct speech (it is only used
> > as continuation form) and because the negative counterpart of x-qatal would
> > be **yiSra'el lo'-laqax*.

> [Moon]
> In sum, do you mean that
> In direct speech, lo'+qatal + X is the negation of initial qatal, whereas
> it is the negation of wayyiqtol in historical narrative?
> BUT, from the view point of logic, negative sentences express a kind of
> state, the state in which something is NOT true. For example, "he did not
> come" means that it was not true that he came. In other words, "he did not
> come" does not refer to a concrete event, but to the state in which such
> an event did not happen. So, negative statements cannot "move the reference
> time forward", but it should use the currently established reference time
> like ordinary qatal.  Your theory that welo'+qatal is mainline and moves
> the RT forward. How would you explain it in the face of the general logic?

4) As negative wayyiqtol, welo'+qatal is a mainline construction in
historical narrative. I am not sure that it moves the RT forward, as you
say, because I do not quite understand what you mean. As negative
wayyiqtol, welo'+qatal is the narrative tense. However, just as positive
wayyiqtol, it does not always move the event line forward as in cases of
explicative or conclusive wayyiqtol.
	In my posting above I think I described a textual situation--is it
this what you mean by theory?
	If my description of the textual situation is correct, I do not
feel I need to explain anything in the face of the general logic, nor I can.
	I am not sure that negative sentences express a kind of state, or
do not refer to a concrete event. I am not sure, either, what do you mean
by "ordinary qatal." Differently from historical narrative, in direct
speech initial qatal does have a RT of its own. See e.g. Joab's report in 2
Sam. 12:27 *nilHamtî* (this and other examples are discussed in my _Syntax_
	As fas as I understand, both sentences type "He came," and "He did
not come,"  are acceptable answers to a question type "Did Peter come?"
Both provide a piece of information, either positive or negative. What we
get through linguistic signs is information, isn't it.

Peace and all good.
Alviero Niccacci

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