WEQATAL vs. QATAL statistics

yochanan bitan-buth ButhFam at compuserve.com
Mon Aug 14 07:29:28 EDT 2000

vayyixtov rolf:
> But
>in a tense-less language, we have to change the names to "APPLE", "APPLE",
>"APPLE", and "APPLE". This is so because in a language where tense is not
>grammaticalized we cannot ascribe a different *semantic* meaning to verbs
>with past, present, perfect, and future reference. True, the function or
>use of the verbs is different, and this is described by your analysis. But
>this is pragmatics and not semantics.

Your last two sentences expose unresolvable linguistic ignorance. 
Morphological categories which encode pragmatic distinctions are
significant, emic and part of the communication code. In this case they are
proven distinct from the simple vav plus simple verbs. The different verb
categories are carrying different communicative information. If you ignore
them, thus ignoring your evidence, then by definition you cannot learn
Hebrew. As has been pointed out, a Biblical Hebrew without vayyiqtol and
veqatal categories is a fiction.  

[analogy, meant to help, theoretical smelling salts:  Rolf, here you are
like someone who can't deal with the solar system because you can prove
that the orbits are not absolutely circular. As though because the orbits
aren't circular therefore the planets can't be going around the sun.
Instead of fighting chimeral circles you need to learn to ask 'what is an
ellipse?', 'what is a galactic spiral?' At times you sound like someone for
whom the vav-ha-hippux murdered his mother, so you "can't" forgive it and
will devote your life to eradicating it, or die trying. there's a better
way below.]

You used morphologically defined categories and mapped them against
simple/crude time frames. The time frames showed themselves statistically
significant. But you "know" that Hebrew cannot be related to time in 'any
way whatsoever' [sic]. So you rename your "bananas and apples" as "apples
and apples" above. If one formal category occurred mainly with bananas and
another formal category occurred mainly with apples, that is a fact. The
wiping away of evidence will hardly lead to the refinement and
understanding of the system that  you seek. It proves your non-system

uvexen, matai taHel lilmod et ha-safa? So when will you start learning
Hebrew? (Notice how the Hebrew sentence naturally works with the prefix
conjugation for this meaning, but not with the suffix conjugation. In fact,
the prefix verb brings that little bit of 'future' reference and
distinguishes the sentence from a past reference in this context.)  there
is nothing like using a language for acting like a mirror and bringing
about rapid learning. I speak like this because you are refusing to listen
to your own data. and language use, even mistakes, are great for
discovering what is emic. 
     Or maybe you just don't know what "emic" means? The morphological
encoding of communication effects is an emic distinction.  The emic parts
of the code are used for communicative effects. Kaxa. 
     You're a very energetic researcher and can make a real contribution if
you leave the dead-end/fictitious system (i.e. abandon the falsified claim
of the non-existence of the vav-hahippux/thematic-mainline categories) and
reinvest your energy in defining/refining the 4 morphologically significant
categories (+5veyihye/6viyhi/7qotel/8eqtela). I wouldn't spend time writing
I didn't have hope for you and look forward to something good. 

bivraxot utfila

randall buth, phd

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