vav conversive (re: subject pronouns)
peter_kirk at sil.org
peter_kirk at sil.org
Fri Sep 3 11:48:40 EDT 1999
I fear some confusion here. I would not call the morpheme on the verb
marking the person a "pronoun" or "pronominal element" at all, it is
part of the verb morphology. This may be the same point which the "One
person I am working with" is questioning. The matter becomes confusing
when we look at the following sentences:
1. )EQTOL )ET-HEBEL
2. ):ANIY )EQTOL )ET-HEBEL
3. * ):ANIY YIQTOL )ET-HEBEL
4. YIQTOL )ET-HEBEL
5. HUW) YIQTOL )ET-HEBEL
1, 2, 4 and 5 are all grammatical (I think, I'm not sure what word
orders would be used for 2 and 5), and are distinguished in that in 2
and 5 there is an explicit personal pronoun, whereas in 1 and 4 the
person is implied from the morpheme. The more common forms are 1 and
4, and the reasons for using 2 or 5 rather than 1 or 4 may include
focus on the subject. Many languages work like this, including Latin,
NT Greek, Turkish etc.; the only difference is that in these (as in
the Hebrew suffix conjugation) the morpheme indicating person is a
suffix rather than a prefix. But 3 is ungrammatical because it
violates an agreement rule. At least some people would parse 1 and 4
as having a zero subject (forced to be first or third person by the
agreement marker). I would have severe problems with trying to
describe the aleph and yod in 1 and 4 as the subjects of these
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: vav conversive (re: subject pronouns)
Author: brocine at earthlink.net at internet
Date: 02/09/1999 07:41
Brian Tucker wrote:
> Thanks for the answers, I tried to expand on what I meant
> > > I am primarily concerned about the "pronoun subject"
> > > element" understanding. Is this distinction important
enough to make an
> > > issue over?
> > I think it depends on whether one is translating or
> > If translating into a language like English that
requires either a
> > nominal or pronominal subject, probably not.
> > a difference between a clause that includes an explicit
> > one that simply has the subject's person gender and
> > into the verb form.
> Could you expand on this answer a little. One person I am
> is making an issue over the difference between pronoun
> pronominal element. He feels that pronominal element is
> label here, that it is not actually the pronoun subject.
"Pronominal element," while correct, does leave something to
be desired because it does not mention the pronominal
element is a subject. How about "pronominal subject"? I
see nothing wrong with "subject pronoun" or "prefixed
subject pronoun." Maybe your student is simply wrestling
with how many and what kind of morphemes may be included in
one Hebrew word (as in one graphic cluster of letters).
Hope you are not in for a long semester! ;-)
B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206
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