Hebrew Syntax.

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at sil.org
Fri Apr 12 06:09:59 EDT 2002


Rolf, you have shown here that you totally misunderstand both discourse
analysis and proper scientific procedure. I don't think DA assumes a
priori that these WAWs have different functions. I certainly do not and
have explicitly rejected this view. We are open to both possibilities,
either all WAWs have the same meaning or there are two or more different
meanings. We note that (speaking generally) even the identical form can
have different meanings and/or discourse functions in different
contexts, and also we note a difference of form here which may or may
not be significant. So we do not assume a priori that even the same form
(let alone different forms) must always have the same meaning. This
seems to be your a priori assumption concerning the prefix WAW. You
insist that everyone else follows this a priori assumption. You neither
yourself examine nor allow other to examine the evidence that WAW has
different meanings in different contexts. This is unscientific, and as a
result your whole dissertation, despite its promising introduction, is
fatally flawed. Yes, Rolf, I know those are strong words. I invite
anyone else on this list to tell me if they judge them unjustified.

 

You assert that "if the WAW prefixed to a verb "has a specific discourse
function" this should be true in ALL instances where the WAW is prefixed
to the verb". But this is your assertion and not mine; rather, I suggest
that WAW is polysemous or at least has a range or shades of meaning. My
method would at least in principle allow that even in WAYYIQTOL forms
the WAW may have various different meanings, including a simple
conjunction as well as perhaps various different discourse functions. So
my method cannot be attacked by your demonstrations that not all
WAYYIQTOLs have the same meaning or place in the discourse. Anyway, your
specific examples demonstrate your ignorance of how these verses would
be understood in discourse analysis. In Zechariah 10:3 your "little
doubt that the temporal reference for all the verbs is future" is not
shared by almost all of the English versions on my shelf: KJV, English
RV, Ferrar Fenton, RSV, NRSV, JPS Tanakh, and NLT (Only NIV and TEV
translate the last three verbs as all future, as does LXX) and so your
whole argument is based on an assertion without evidence.

 

Peter Kirk

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Rolf Furuli [mailto:furuli at online.no] 
Sent: 12 April 2002 10:13
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: RE: Hebrew Syntax.

 

<snip>


Your words reveal exactly the circularity of discourse analysis (as it
is applied to Hebrew verbs) that I criticize. It is a priori, without
any foundation whatsoever, assumed that WAWs prefixed to verbs (WE+QATAL
and WA(Y)+YIQTOL) are more than conjunctions, and then one engage in
discoursa analysis and demonstrate exactly what has been asumed: the
WAWs+verbs have "specific discourse functions". My suggestion was to
drop these presuppositions and deal with the WAWs in the light of what
they fundamentally are - conjunctions. If you cannot start at the bottom
and demonstrate on the basis of discourse analysis that the conjunction
WAW+verb has "specific discourse functions" without the need of
presuppositions, the method is of little use as far as morpho-syntactic
*meaning* is concerned. A methodological problem is that if the WAW
prefixed to a verb "has a specific discourse function" this should be
true in ALL instances where the WAW is prefixed to the verb, but that is
not claimed (and of course will not turn out to be true). Please look at
(1) below (my translation) where I have marked the forms and the
conjunctions.

 

(1) 2 Samuel 16.13 (AND) David and his men continued to walk (WAYYIQTOL)
while (AND) Shimei was walking (PARTICIPLE) on the side of the mountain;
(AND) he was cursing (WAYYIQTOL) (AND) went on throwing stones
(WAYYIQTOL) at him while he was going (INFINITIVE ABSOLUTE) abreast of
him; (AND) he caused (WEQATAL) a lot of dust.

 

a) Normally WAYYIQTOLs occur in a consecutive chain where one action
occurs after the previous one. If this is viewed as a "specific
discourse function" one would try hard to interprete the three
WAYYIQTOLs in this verse as consecutive, but that is hardly the case.
David and his men were walking on one side of the mountain and Shimei
was at the same time walking (expressed by a participle) on the other
side. While David and his men were walking (expressed by the first
WAYYIQTOL) Shimei was cursing and throwing stones (expressed by the two
other WAYYIQTOLs); also the infinitvive absolute may stress both the
contemporaneousness as does the participle. Thus reference time
intersects event time  in the middle of all three WAYYIQTOLs, and this
is contrary to the traditional discourse model because it suggests that
the WAYYIQTOLs are imperfective. Because the WEQATAL has an adverbial of
the same root and is of the Piel stem, I take it as resultative, i.e. it
expresses the result of the throwing of stones, that David became
covered with dust or dirt. As to QATAL/WEQATAL and their "specific
discourse functions" please consider (2)

 

(2) Zechariah 10:3 Against the shepherds by anger burns (QATAL), and I
will punish the goats (YIQTOL), for (CONJUNCTION) YHWH of armies will
turn his attention (QATAL) to his drove, the house of Judah,and
(WEQATAL) he will make them like a proud hores in battle.

 

There can be little doubt that the temporal reference for all the verbs
is future. The use of a QATAL and  a WEQATAL with future reference
illustrates that the WE- of WEQATAL is a simple conjunction, because the
reason why the QATAL does not have a prefixed WAW simply is that there
is another conjunction preceding it. There are hundreds of similar
cases, and there is not a single instance where the the WE- of WEQATAL
cannot be translated by "and" or a similar conjunction.

 

<snip>

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/attachments/20020412/52fd4d8d/attachment.html 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/attachments/20020412/52fd4d8d/attachment-0001.html 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/attachments/20020412/52fd4d8d/attachment-0002.html 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/attachments/20020412/52fd4d8d/attachment-0003.html 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/attachments/20020412/52fd4d8d/attachment-0004.html 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/attachments/20020412/52fd4d8d/attachment-0005.html 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/attachments/20020412/52fd4d8d/attachment-0006.html 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/attachments/20020412/52fd4d8d/attachment-0007.html 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/attachments/20020412/52fd4d8d/attachment-0008.html 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/attachments/20020412/52fd4d8d/attachment-0009.html 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/attachments/20020412/52fd4d8d/attachment-0010.html 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/attachments/20020412/52fd4d8d/attachment-0011.html 


More information about the b-hebrew mailing list