preterite question again

Henry Churchyard churchyh at
Sat Jun 19 00:41:17 EDT 1999

> Subject: preterite question again
> From: "Rodney K. Duke" <dukerk at>
> Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 09:25:06 -0400

> I have accepted the preterite theory for explaining wayyiqtol for
> years.  Now I wonder if a review of the same linguistic evidence
> from the perspective of the question (Does the form 'grammaticalize'
> tense, or is time being indicated through pragmatic factors?) and
> through the observations of discourse grammar would yield the same
> the results.  Are some of you and our other expert colleagues who
> work with Akkadian, Ugaritic, et al exploring such questions and
> re-examining foundational conclusions/assumptions?  Are you/they
> thoroughly convinced by the evidence that the short prefixed form is
> marked for tense rather than for "aspect"?

Not sure whether or not you're implying that wayyiqtol should be
considered to have the same diachronic origin as yiqtol -- if so, let
me repeat that in some languages *yaqtul and *yaqtulu are clearly
morphologically distinct forms, seemingly without any very close basic
connection (other than a somewhat accidental resemblance in
phonological form), while in other languages one form appears without
the other.

By the way, there seems to be some confusion on the list abolut
whether a yaqtul-"preterite" form appears in Ugaritic; I'm no expert
on Ugaritic, but I recently looked at Stanislav Segert's "A basic
grammar of the Ugaritic language" (which was easily accessible to me),
and he doesn't seem to think there was such a form (found no mention
of it).

         --Henry Churchyard     churchyh at

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