(Fwd) Re: Wayyiqtol - comparative Semitic, morphology, phonolo

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Tue Aug 22 10:00:59 EDT 2000

I received the following from Randall Buth off-list,  apparently 
accidentally.  With his permission I am forwarding it to the list and 
will reply to it in a separate post in the interests of fairness.

vayyixtov David,
>There are four 
>*syntactic* conjugations that perform different *syntactic* functions.
>. . .
>Indeed my basis is function.  Qatal represents real mode with 
>syntactic connection to the preceding; yiqtol is irreal mode with 
>syntactic connection; weqatal is irreal mode with syntactic break 
>and wayyiqtol is real mode with syntactic break.  

The above is workable. (Of course one may question  whether 'syntactic
connection' is the right definition. MT: "bereshit bara ..." Is DW arguing
that 'bara' is connected to 'bereshit' or is it better lingusitically to
say that bereshit is fronted as a realization of a predication based in

It is also a good illustration of how differing linguistic metalanguages
produce what might sound very different but in fact is very close. The
above "syntactic functions", two of which mark 'syntactic connection' and
two of which mark 'syntactic break', are another way of talking about
syntactic (emic) pragmatic functions. that is, marking "connection" versus
"non-connection" is a pragmatic choice and is encoded within the
grammatical structures of the language (=syntax).

Defining the details of 'real' verus 'irreal' will get sticky when it
crosses boundarys. Thus, communicating "they used to water the flocks" will
be encoded in the "irreal" mode yet it is something that was 'real' and
already had happened on multiple occasions. One could add a definition to
these as "non-specific, real event", perhaps re-naming them as

Dave Washburn
"Éist le glór Dé."

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