More ?'s about verbs

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Mon Jan 17 21:34:56 EST 2000

> No, Dave, you did not use these terms. Rodney wrote "to start a new 
> story, to pick up after some digression in a story", which suggests to 
> me he was thinking of major breaks. You seem to agree with me, against 
> Rodney's suggestion, that these are not signalled by WAYYIQTOL.

I suppose it depends in large measure on how one defines "major 
break."  My working definition of this is a break between 
paragraphs, episodes, volumes, that sort of thing.  Perhaps if you 
offer your definition, we can come up with a good working one that 
we can use as a starting point for further discussion?

> However, in your translation you used full stops (periods), which 
> suggests that you had in mind significant breaks. You may not wish to 
> describe these breaks as "major", perhaps you are right. 

A period signals a sentence break, nothing more.  At least that's 
how I use it.  Again, I would consider "significant breaks" more 
than just sentence breaks.

But my point 
> is that WAYYIQTOL does not express a break of any sort but rather a 
> continuation, and so your translation with full stops is misleading. 

But this is precisely what I argue against!  I have yet to see 
conclusive evidence that it expresses "a continuation."  And in fact 
I have shown again and again that there are plenty of instances 
where it can't possibly be a continuation, so I'm afraid I have to 
suggest that you're assuming what you set out to prove here.  If I've 
missed something, please correct me.

> Also you wrote "does this story provide a full acount of usage of the 
> wayyiqtol?  Hardly." I agree with you, but in the context you did seem 
> to be suggesting support for Rodney's point by hinting at another use 
> of WAYYIQTOL in accordance with his suggestion. It is now clear that 
> you do not support Rodney's point. Thank you for the clarification.

I must have missed something in what Rodney wrote.  In any case, 
we know that wayyiqtol can be used in narrative, to begin an 
episode, to begin a book, to resume after an aside, to open a 
change of setting or situation, and that's just to name a few.  I seek 
a unified field of meaning that accounts for all these variations.  
Sometimes I get the feeling I'm the only one doing so...{pause to 
feel sorry for self} :-)

Dave Washburn
Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.
                                   Psalm 86:11

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