lationship between b-nouns and clauses
moon at sogang.ac.kr
Tue Mar 19 19:01:43 EST 2002
thank you so much for asking this question. I also raised this
question in the midst of this thread, but got no feedback.
I read the following arguments:
(1) RESHIT in BERESHIT in Gen 1.1 is in the construct form,
because all the other occurrences of BERESHIT are in
the construct form, being qualified by some absolute forms.
(2) So, BERESHIT in Gen 1.1. should be qualified by something absolute.
But here there is no noun phrase to qualify BERESHIT. So, the clause
followed by BERESHIT should play the role of the qualifying absolute
To this I would like to say:
(1) RESHIT in MERESHIT Isa 46.10 should be considered to be in the
[ declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things
not yet done, saying, "My purpose shall stand, and I will fulfill
my intention," ]
The form RESHIT itself does not indicate that it is in the absolute.
(2) So, if one wants to construe Gen 1.1 so that BERESHIT is qualified by
the following QATAL clause, it should be done on grounds other than
BERESHIT is in the construct state.
(3) Ian, you did a good job of pointing to many BYOM + finite clause,
where YOM is qualified by the finite clause. This can be explained
by two hypotheses:
(i) [H1] A noun [in the absolute state] can be qualified by a finite
WITHOUT the relative pronouns such as SH and ASHER, if necessary.
Then the relative pronouns can be omitted in BH as in English.
(ii) [H2] BYOM is a fixed expression which can be used as a temporal
conjunction like KY. This can be confirmed if we can show that
only time expressions can be qualified by finite clauses without
the relative pronoun, as you indicated.
(4) In either hypothesis, BYOM can be qualified by more than one clauses.
There are nothing that would prohibit such rules. It should be one of
universals in human languages. But as far as I observe the debate
Ian and Peter, the problem is not whether BYOM can be qualified by
than one clauses. It is whether two clauses qualifying BYOM are
clauses or SEQUENTIAL clauses. For all the BYOM clause debate between
and Peter, I tend to agree with Peter, because for now I adopted
the grammar of Hatav and Niccacci. They do not analyize WAYYIQTOL
W + IQTOL, but consider WAYYIQTOL as a "tense" on its own. They
WAYYIQTOL basically sequential in the sense that it introduces a new
in the narrative relative to the current reference time.
(5) Now, I would like to put a conjecture as follows:
WAYYIQTOL cannot be used when there is no reference time to refer to.
[Peter seems to accept it, while you reject it.] If this hypothesis
is right, in sentences of the form WAYHI + BYOM + QATAL/QOTEL/Inf +
WAYYIQTOL, QATAL/QOTEL/Inf and WAYYIQTOL cannot be coordinated and
thus cannot both qualify YOM,
because QATAL/QOTEL/Inf is used to introduce the reference time,
and WAYYIQTOL introduces a new event relative to the introduced
Moon R. Jung
Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea
How do people see the relationship between b-nouns
> and the clauses they govern? I have heard people
> talking of constructs but as I understood, such a
> relationship is really one of noun to noun, yet it
> is clear from some of the examples that I have put
> forward that this is clearly not the case as we are
> dealing with complete clauses (though this seems
> invariably with time phrases and never with other
> qualified phrases). So, do you see these clauses as
> governed just like a construct relationship or are
> these a different type of relationship? I simply
> don't know, have no position, and would like to
> know what people think.
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