Joosten and Hatav's modality

Bryan Rocine brocine at
Thu Sep 23 19:33:53 EDT 1999


I, for one, am not arguing anything.  I am looking for
folk's reactions (BTW, thanks for input, Dave, Randy) to the
idea that Joosten and Hatav claim, that yiqtol is modal,
period.  As far as Joosten goes, I am referring to his
article "The Indicative System of the BH Verb and Its
Literary Exploitation" in _Narrative Syntax and the HB_ ed.
von Wolde.  His indicative subsystem is comprised of
wayyiqtol, qatal , and the predicative participle.  Yiqtol,
weqatal, and the volitional forms are modal, end of story.
I quote from pp. 57-58: "...for BH yiqtol--in its regular,
long form--is basically a modal form [J cites Zuber, 1985].
BH yiqtol is _not a form expressing the present-future, nor
an expression of non-completed action, nor an expression of
cursive aspect" (emphasis mine).  And again, "...yiqtol
should be pulled out of the indicative system and set to one
side, together with the modal forms of BH the imper. the
juss. the coho. and weqatal.  These forms constitute a modal
subsystem opposed _en bloc_ to the indicative system" (p.


you wrote:
> While Hatav's work is very positive and helpful I'm not
sure the linguistic
> choice for the verbal system for a BH user included the
choice between
> indicative and non-indicative, since we find qatal and
yiqtol (and qotel) in
> both environments (as Hatav notes, p.29). Does Hatav
explicitly make this a
> fundamental distinction in her analysis? I'm not sure she
does, and
> indicative seems to cut across her four-parameter model.
Which means that I
> don't see the point Joosten is making. What "indicative
subsystem" is he
> talking about? (Is he using a speech-act idea of
declarative vs
> non-declarative utterances?) Perhaps if you explain more
clearly what you
> mean I may end up agreeing with you!
> With regards,
> Matthew Anstey
> >
> >Bryan,
> >> B-Haverim,
> >>
> >> What do you think?  Joosten wants to pull yiqtol out of
> >> "indicative subsystem," considering the form
> >> modal.  Hatav describes "future forms" as actually
modals of
> >> the _must_ variety.  The descriptions seem helpful to
> >> simplifying the description of yiqtol (eliminating
> >> indicative and modal yiqtols).  Are such descriptions
> >> convincing, here to stay?  Should they be passed on in
> >> new texts?
> >
> >As far as I'm concerned, absolutely!  Hatav's material
convinced me
> >that both yiqtol and weqatal are modal forms, while qatal
> >wayyiqtol are indicatives.  The only place where I
disagree with her
> >is the question of sequence, but my views on this are
well known
> >by now.  I consider Galia's treatment of the yiqtol a
> >breakthrough.
> >
> >Dave Washburn
> >

B. M. Rocine
Associate Pastor
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

(office) 315.437.6744
(home) 315.479.8267

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list