welo'+qatal as negative wayyiqtol (To Niccatti)

Moon-Ryul Jung moon at saint.soongsil.ac.kr
Thu Jun 3 11:54:35 EDT 1999


Dear Alivero, thanks for your clarification. Let me clarify what I wrote
about logic, because I think it is important to understand negatives.

> > [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 referenc=
> e
> > 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?
> >
> 
[Alviero]
> 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." 
[Moon]
I meant "x-qatal in historical narrative". X-qatals in historical 
narrative
describe some background information. This background information can be
regarded as "state" that holds at the current reference time, rather than 
"event". I thought that negative statements describe states like x-qatals.
About this, please see below.

>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 *nilHamt=EE* (this and other examples are discussed in my _Syntax=
> _
> ##22-23).
> 	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.
> 
[Moon]
Yes, both provide a piece of information. But that information may be 
a state or an event. "He came" refers to a particular event. Its 
negation, "He did not come", refers to  not happening of a particular 
event.  If this "not happening of a particular event" can be considered a 
state,
it follows that the negative statement cannot move the reference time
forward; Statemenst that describe states cannot move the reference time
forward. 

But as you said, we may have to examine in more depth if 
negative statements  always describe states.

Respectfully,
Moon-Ryul Jung
Assistant Professor
Dept of Computer Science
Soongsil University,
Seoul, Korea  
> Peace and all good.
> Alviero Niccacci
> 
> 
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