Genesis 1:6

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at
Fri Dec 14 00:40:14 EST 2001

I asked my daughter, in 11th grade Yeshiva high school - "What is the 
root of 'Mavdil', 'Hivdil', etc.?  Is it B D L?  She also didn't 
remember but thought it was not B D L.  I asked her why not, and she 
said, "It just doesn't sound right".  I am really going to look for 
that book in my deceased father's library, this Sunday.


That may have something to do with it (allowing the corrections to the picture
that she gave in her response), but the reason I brought up the lack of a G
(Qal) stem for this root is that it seems to me that a speaker who has
internalized the language will probably be a lot better at recognizing
connections between verb forms that actually exist. Even though she has
learned the root/stem system, there is no reason to learn a verb form that
does not exist; hence, the relationship is not nearly as obvious. It may seem
like a no-brainer that the root of mavdil is BDL, since none of the consonants
is likely to go anywhere; but If I recall correctly, even the comparative
evidence is usually attested in the C stem only.

I should add that the original inquiry seemed to imply that BDL means
something by itself. (Something like, "What's the difference between BDL and
MBDL?") Since there is no attested G-stem verb badal or D-stem biddel, there
is no verb that can be called simply BDL. (Both the N stem and the C stem add
prefixes in their various forms.)

Trevor Peterson

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