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

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Sep 29 11:08:43 EDT 2003

On 29/09/2003 07:21, furuli at online.no wrote:

> 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
Dear Rolf,

I know we have been through this one before, but newcomers to the list 
might not notice what seems to me an obvious flaw in your methodology. 
How do you determine which verbs have present, past and future 
reference, independent of any indication of this derived from the verb 
form - and independent of any translation as these are likely (to 
understate things!) to have chosen verb tenses on the basis of the 
Hebrew verb forms? If you do rely on verb forms for determining the 
reference, how do you answer the suggestion which I am making that your 
method is circular?

I accept that for some of the verbs in the Tanakh it is possible to 
determine from the context alone, independent of any verb form, whether 
the reference is past, present or future. But this is not possible for 
"*all* the verbs of the Tanakh".

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list