Construct + Finite = Relative?

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Fri Sep 15 22:33:29 EDT 2000

> On  9/9/00 (Re: Construct + Finite = Relative?) Dave Washburn wrote:
> >Alviero,
> >Good stuff!  I just have one question that has surfaced already
> >several times in this discussion, and would greatly appreciate your
> >input:
> >
> >[snip]
> >>	I analyze Gen 1:1-3 as follows: "In the beginning of (the fact
> >> that) God created heaven and earth, i.e. When God began to create
> >> heaven and earth [sentence 1], the earth was chaos and void
> >> [sentence 2], darkness was on the surface of the abyss [sentence
> >> 3], and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the
> >> water [sentence 4]. Then God said [sentence 5] etc."	Sentences 2-4
> >> are coordinated one to the other; they are main with regard to
> >> sentence 1, which depends on them.  Taken together, sentences 1-4
> >> constitute a syntactic unit that depends on sentence 5, which
> >> contains narrative wayyiqtol, "Then God said." This wayyiqtol
> >> begins the mainline of the narrative. What precedes gives the
> >> setting of the story.
> >
> >I think I follow this, but could you elaborate on the nature of the
> >coordination, especially what effect the WAW at the beginning of
> >verse 2 (sentence 2 in your layout) has on the clause itself?  This
> >has been a sticking point in the discussion, and I don't really have
> >an answer, at least not using the Gesenius/W&O approach.
> Dear Dave Washburn:
> In order to answer you kind question, I will need to develop a rather long argument, I'm afraid.
> The Waw at the beginning of Gen 1:2, i.e., that of *we-ha'arec*,
> is of the type traditionally called "waw apodoseos," that is the
> waw that introduces the apodosis. 

Okay, that makes sense.  I'm wondering how to translate 1:1-2a as 
a protasis/apodosis construction, though.

Apodosis is, of course, the main
> element of a conditional clause--the other, subordinate element is
> the protasis, e.g., If you do good [protasis], you will be honored
> [apodosis]. I did not adopt this terminology because I noticed that
> the so-called waw of apodosis is not always present in the texts
> although the construction remains the same. In my _Syntax of the
> Verb_ I called it instead "The Two-Element Syntactic Construction"
> (see Chapter 8 of my book), a designation that exactly describes
> that structure but is much too long. 

If it is a precise designation, then I would disagree that it's too long 

Afterwards I used the term
> "double sentence." (German-speaking grammarian called it "die
> Pendenskonstruktion.") 

I thought Pendenskonstruktion referred specifically to casus 

In order to make up a double sentence,
> protasis and apodosi need occur in this sequence, not in reverse
> order. In BH both protasis and apodosis show an amazing variety of
> forms that are different grammatically but equivalent
> syntactically, i.e., they play the same function. The whole
> Chapter 8 of my Syntax is devote to this subject. 

I can see I'll have to read the book again.  It's been a while, too 
long apparently.


Dave Washburn
"Éist le glór Dé."

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