BH: indicative nunation?

Trevor Peterson speederson at
Wed Apr 4 08:31:16 EDT 2001

The way it was presented to me (I think following Steve Fassberg, although
I don't know the publication), the n would come originally from the
presence of the -a(m) volitive ending, functioning somewhat comparably to
the Akkadian ventive. If that were the case, it wouldn't always be
present.  Quite possibly the -ekka ending would show it where it does
appear. (van der Merwe, et al., says that this form of the endign shows
the assimilated n, but there is no attempt to explain why it's there.)

> > 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"
> forms:
>    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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