Verb trial thesis

Randall Buth ButhFam at
Sun Apr 7 03:37:41 EDT 2002

shalom Rodney,

>If for you the TAM is inherent in each verb form but converted
>by waw, then do you interpret every wayyiqtol and weqatal the same 
>for each occurrence?  If you have the time, would you please let me 
>know how you would translate -- not just translate, but also interpret 
>the TAMs of the verbs in 1 Samuel 17:34-35.  Do the weqatals 
>here = the TAM of yiqtol, which is what?  If they function as qatals, 
>then how does the wayyiqtol in their midst function? If as a qatal, 
>then why use a different from?  Thanks in advance for any insight 
>you can shed on this for me!<

I'm glad you used the word 'interpret' because a translation by its 
very nature is part of a different language system and cannot fully 
show what the source system was/is. 
first of all, if Hebrew is using a system that only has 2 and 1/2 TAMs
or 4.5 counting the vav ha-hippux categories, then it is highly 
improbable that the forms will mean exactly the same thing in 
every occurrence. In fact, they don't, of course. E.g. yiqtol can be 
used to mark the future in an open context and yiqtol can also be 
used to mark imperfective aspect in a past narrative context. 
vayyiqtol, of course, marks simple narrative past in a past narrative 
context and does not mark imperfectivity. 

On 1 Sam 17.34-35. The verbs are talking about open-ended, 
multiple actions, i.e. the veqatal verbs. The vayyiqtol pulls out one 
incidence and uses it as an example of what would happen in a 
particular case. You may translate with "if a lion would stand up 
against me", though the structure is not a standard conditional 
clause, it is an exemplary clause within a string of habituals. 


Randall Buth

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