Hebrew Syntax.

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at sil.org
Sun Apr 14 18:04:16 EDT 2002

Moon, may I answer you here as one also trained originally in science
and who then worked as an engineer. In most branches of science, if a
hypothesis has a 96% or 97% fit with the observed facts (as here), the
general truth of that hypothesis is considered rather strongly
indicated. Of course one then needs to look at the remaining results.
They may be spurious or corrupted (cf. here the text may be corrupt);
but one would need to look into whether that is reasonable. Or one might
find that this small residue of results can be accounted for by making
adjustments to the hypothesis. Sometimes it might be necessary to leave
the hypothesis as incomplete and uncertain because a residue of results
has not been accounted for. But I am sure no scientist would reject a
hypothesis completely because of a 3-4% discrepancy.

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Moon-Ryul Jung [mailto:moon at sogang.ac.kr]
> Sent: 14 April 2002 16:24
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: RE: Hebrew Syntax.
> Rolf,
> As a topic related to this exercise, G. Hatav believes that
> yiqtol and weqatal are "modals". Your example is a counterexample
> to her thesis. In her book, she also noted some non-modal uses of
> yiqtol and said it is difficult to explain them (She thinks some are
> corrupted because some other versions do not use yiqtol in those
> examples.) The non-modal use of yiqtol is  3% [more than 30] of the
> yiqtol's in her corpus, which is Genesis through Kings. The non-modal
> of weqatal is 4% of the 573 weqatal's.
> I have no idea how to deal with this kind or this amount of
> counterexample. Hatav seems to think it does not invalidate her
> thesis. As a scientist/engineer in training, I wonder how such
> counterexamples do not invalidate her thesis. If there is no way
> to explain away these counterexamples, how is it that they do not
> invalidate the thesis? Is there some agreement going on here among
> the players in the field?
> Moon
> Moon R. Jung
> Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea
> Moon
> Moon R. Jung
> Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea
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