[b-hebrew] Consecutive waw in Lev .22:7 ?

furuli at online.no furuli at online.no
Mon Sep 29 10:21:45 EDT 2003

Dear Trevor,

With all due respect, I beg to disagree with your words regarding 
the "converted perfect ...that covers the same basic range as the 
imperfect".  A study of all the verbs of the Tanakh gives the 
following results  as to the present and future references of YIQTOL, 

YIQTOL: Present reference 2.461 (18,1 %)
QATAL: Present reference 2.505 (18 %)
WEQATAL: Present reference 240  (3,9 %)

YIQTOL: Future reference 4.841 (35.5 %)
QATAL: Future reference 965 (6,9 %)
WEQATAL: Future reference 4.187 (68,4 %)

QATAL and YIQTOL are similar as far as present reference is 
concerned, and WEQATAL is different. As to future reference, YIQTOL 
and WEQATAL are similar, but the 965 occurrences of QATAL with future 
reference undermines the view that WAW has a converting force or 
signals conversion when it is prefixed to a QATA Lor a YIQTOL.  I 
will also mention that I have a list of 357 (5,9 %) of WEQATALs with 
past reference and 55 with a reference similar to English perfect 
(completed action, present reference). If the enclitic WAWS are seen 
simply as conjunctions (not having any converting power), the high 
percentage of YIQTOLs and WEQATALs with future reference are readily 
explained on syntactical grounds.

I therefore claim that YIQTOL , WEYIQTOL and WAYIQTOL represent the 
same thing - the imperfective aspect, and that QATAL  and WEQATAL 
represent the same thing - the perfective aspect.

So  - for those who are newcomers on the list, don't believe the 
traditional grammars, but ask critical questions regarding their 
conclusions .  The authors of modern grammars have evidently only 
looked at *some* of the verbs in the Tanakh and not *all* of them. 
Often views from previous grammars are adopted without any new tests 
of the conclusions. When we look at *all* the verbs of the Tanakh, it 
is evident that the map does not fit the terrain.

Best regards

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

>Doris wrote:
>>  Lev. 22:7 reads: Uva hashemesh v'taher... is the waw
>>  preceding  taher a
>>  consecutive waw? If so, should it  not not read vayithar ? 
>If you're going to think in terms of consecutive vavs, you need to
>consider that they can be added to both perfect and imperfect forms.
>You're right about what it would look like if it were a consecutive
>imperfect form, but clearly the form we have in the text is not
>imperfect. It is perfect, and adding a consecutive vav normally has no
>effect on the rest of the shape.
>The consecutive perfect, or what I would call the converted perfect, is
>the sequential form that covers the same basic range as the imperfect.
>Notice, BTW, that uva is also a converted perfect. If these were
>narrative forms (what you call the consecutive imperfect), we would
>expect this to be a past discussion--"When the sun set, he became clean
>. . . " But clearly it is not past in this case--"When the sun sets, he
>will be clean . . . "
>Trevor Peterson

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