BH: indicative nunation?

Henry Churchyard churchh at
Tue Apr 3 15:49:23 EDT 2001

> From: decaen at (Vincent DeCaen)
> Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 14:02:58 -0400 (EDT)

> reading genesis with intro students: ch.3, v.15.  lemma T.:$W.PEN.W.
> i explained the ennu vs ehu as the preservation of the older
> nunation associated with the indicative vs subjunctive, with enhu >
> ennu.  in other words, i'm claiming *n marked indicative generally,
> its absence subjunctive.  but then i was asked about the lemma
> Y:$W.P:KF, and why it wasn't Y:$W.PEK.F with the indicative nun,
> enka > ekka.  on the fly, i thought of an interesting and probably
> correct analogy: there is a pausal vs contextual variation for "from
> you(ms)", viz. MIM.EK.F vs MIM.:KF what if we're missing the
> regularity of the hebrew phenomenon because of tiberian pausal
> phonology?  what do you think....?

In certain subject endings the presence of _n_ was originally a marker
of "indicative" (or whatever one wishes to call it), such as original
YAQTULUUNA indicative vs. YAQTULUU jussive.  But the original _n_
(often asimilated in Hebrew) before object endings is "energic" in
comparative terms.  It might be an interesting research project to see
if there was any correlation between the use of _yiqt at luun_ forms in
Hebrew (as opposed to _yiqt at luu_ forms) and the use of _yiqtolekka_
forms in Hebrew (as opposed to non-"energic" forms), but I doubt that
you could _a priori_ reasonably assume that forms without original _n_
are all somehow "non-indicative".  Here's an article on "energic"

   Testen, David. 1993.  "On the Development of the Energic Suffixes."
   Mushira Eid and Clive Holes eds, Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics V:
   Papers from the Fifth Annual Symposium on Arabic Linguistics.
   Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 293-311.

Henry Churchyard   churchh at

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