Hebrew Syntax., 2 Sam 15:37

Bryan Rocine brocine at earthlink.net
Sun Apr 14 18:43:36 EDT 2002

RE: Hebrew Syntax.Hi Rolf,  you wrote:
Today I have been working with all the examples of BW) ("to
come in") realized as YIQTOLs with past reference. To
illustrate the influence of discourse analysis on Bible
translation, I invite you to analyse 2 Samuel 15:37 by help
of this method and any other method you deem fit.

My response:
I would interppret the x-yiqtol clause as OFF the mainline
of the historical narrative in 2 Sam 15, and so
inappropriately translated into the historical narrative
mainline form of the target language (in English, the simple
past).  I.e.  I would *not* translate "and Absalom

Actually, the x-yiqtol is a direct speech construction, so
this case is the narrator's brief departure into direct
speech in which directly addresses the audience in a side
comment like a parenthetical comment or an aside.  I call
this phenomenon "speaking through the ivisible fourth wall"
(of the narrative's stage).

In effect, the narrator is breaking out of the literary
constraint of story-telling.  The x-yiqtol is
predictive/modal in nature:  "But Absalom would come into
the city."  This off-line comment by the narrator is
designed to clarify for us how the plan of David to use
Hushai as an insider could succeed; Absalom was not in
Jerusalem at the time to witness Hushai's meeting with
David.  Absalom would arrive at a later time.

Discourse analysis has not told me that X-yiqtol is modal in
meaning, only that it is off-the-line in historical
narrative and plain vanilla direct speech.  On the other
hand, the modality of the x-yiqtol, which I have accepted
based on a weighty consensus of experts does indeed
harmonize with my discourse analytical framework.  Here is
the value of discourse analysis to verbal semantics--as a
test of verbal semantic hypotheses.

BTW, I have not known Alviero Niccacci to concern himself
awful much with verbal semantics.  His definition of tense
is not the same as a linguist who specializes in verbal
semantics like Comrie.  IOW, he is the wrong guy to pick on
if you want to criticize discourse analysts for entering the
discipline of verbal semantics.

As for Longacre, he also has little to say about verbal
semantics in Hebrew.  He has himself worked with a fairly
traditional explantion of BH verbal semantics ala Lambdin.


B. M. Rocine
Associate Pastor
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

(office) 315-437-6744
(home) 315-445-3085

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