Hebrew Syntax.

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Fri Apr 12 07:33:53 EDT 2002

Dear Peter,

Three simple questions in order for me to better understand you: When 
you enagage in discourse analysis, do you presume that there are four 
different conjugations in  Hebrew (YIQTOL, QATAL, WAYYIQTOL and 
WEQATAL)? Or do you start with the observation that Hebrew has 
prefix-forms and and suffix-forms, and some of each group are 
prefixed by the conjunction WAW? Or are you saying that you have no 
presuppositions at all?



Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

>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
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