vav conversive

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Wed Sep 1 22:35:13 EDT 1999

> Greetings
> Thanks for the answers, I tried to expand on what I meant below...
> > > I am primarily concerned about the "pronoun subject" verses "pronominal
> > > element" understanding. Is this distinction important enough to make an
> > > issue over?
> > 
> > I think it depends on whether one is translating or doing exegesis.
> > If translating into a language like English that requires either a
> > nominal or pronominal subject, probably not.  Exegetically, there's
> > a difference between a clause that includes an explicit pronoun and
> > one that simply has the subject's person gender and number built
> > into the verb form.
> Could you expand on this answer a little. One person I am working with
> is making an issue over the difference between pronoun subject and
> pronominal element. He feels that pronominal element is the correct
> label here, that it is not actually the pronoun subject.

If one wants to be (IMO) incredibly pedantic, sure he's right.  
However, what's the function of that pronominal element?  It's the 
subject of the verb.  What does "pronominal" mean?  Having the 
characteristics of a pronoun.  If we must split hairs, a "true" 
pronoun subject would be an explicit pronoun like HU) or HEM, 
analogous to English "he" or "they."  However, since this 
"pronominal element" is built into the verb inflection and serves to 
indicate the subject (when said subject isn't explicit), I hardly see 
what the fuss is about.  What I meant about exegesis has more to 
do with changes of person or referent ("Abraham took his son and 
set out on the journey; he [Isaac] asked where the lamb for the 
sacrifice was", that sort of thing).  In terms of exegesis, especially 
at the discourse level, use of explicit subjects is significant.

> > > 2. If there was a miscontruing of the divine name, why was there not a
> > > misconstruing of elohim?
> > 
> What I was getting at is when the divine name was next to 'donay didn't
> the Masoretes use other vowel points to avoid confusion? If they did,
> why wasn't the divine name with different vowel points misconstrued? Is
> it true that when 'donay is next to the divine than that the divine name
> is understood as elohim?

Somebody else will have to field this one...

> > > 4. What is the best way to describe the difference between a root and a
> > > stem?
> > 
> > Depends on what you mean by "stem."  If you mean binyan,
> > there's an obvious difference.  If you're using it in another way, I
> > don't know.
> Paul Zellmer's post answered this question. As it pertains to binyan,
> how would you characterize the obvious difference?

The root is the lexical form most of the time, although the term is 
also used of the non-pointed (usually-)three-radical base from 
which words are derived (e.g. )HB for both )FHAB the verb and 
)FHFB the noun).  The stems or binyanim are inflections of the root 
that are formed using various infixes and affixes.

Dave Washburn
"Ich veranlassenarbeitenworken mein Mojo."

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