vav conversive

Paul Zellmer zellmer at digitelone.com
Wed Sep 8 09:31:25 EDT 1999


Brian Tucker wrote to Dave after he wrote to me:

> Your posts have been very helpful, especially with respect to the
> discussion on the nature of a word. One thing that was mentioned
> yesterday is still unclear, if you or Paul for that matter would
> respond, I would like to know what is wrong with referring to the
> construction as a vav or waw conversive?

Brian,

I think that Dave's response both addresses the meat of your question
and indicates how much the in-depth study into exploded view of the
Hebrew verb is still very much a work in progress.  We appear to
continue to be in a paradigm shift, and quite honestly I'm not sure if
anyone can really predict what paradigm will eventually emerge.
However, it does seem that the vast majority of modern grammarians have
found enough exceptions to the rule to have serious problems with the
old tense-related models.  While a good number of us see a very high
percentage of all the wayyiqtols as occurring in the past, in order for
waw-conversive to play out, it has to be clearly demonstrated that the
yiqtol has an inherent non-past meaning.  That *inherent* meaning just
doesn't seem to jive with the set of data.  And there is even more
problems with the weqatal.  It is used in past, present, *and* future
situations, in *both* prose and poetry.

Anyway, the main reason for this response is to let you know that I
wasn't ignoring your question.  You asked going into the weekend, which
is an extremely busy time for me right now.  (I'm helping open up a new
church planting effort.)  Then my server went down, and I had a business
trip.

HTH,

Paul




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