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

yochanan bitan-buth ButhFam at compuserve.com
Sat Aug 26 16:17:42 EDT 2000

vayyixtov David Washburn
>In my schema, had bereshit not been 
>fronted (or otherwise preceding the bara clause) and the verb was 
>first, we would have had a wayyiqtol.
>Boy, is that gonna raise some hackles :-)

Pas de probleme. 

       vayyivra elohim et hashamayim vet ha-arets (bereshit). 

It's OK, but on the border. 
However, if the sentence begins with vayyivra, then I would actually prefer
deleting 'bereshit' and not including it in its default position as an
adjunct. Retaining the word 'bereshit' in such a rewritten sentence would
skew the focus and put too much salience on 'bereshit'. 

Of course, "vayyivra elohim ..." also changes the overall focus or function
of the sentence since it becomes the grand, marked act/event of the
chapter. The MT, (reading bereshit as an absolute adverbial phrase and not
a construct), functions more as a title than a storyline event itself.
Verse 2, of course, is a setting and second beginning for verse 3. 

It's actually fun to consider what an author didn't write and sometimes
also to consider what he couldn't write at all.

shavua` tov
Randall Buth

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