[b-hebrew] Qal Passives vs. Pual suffix & Hophal prefix forms
06PETERSON at cua.edu
Wed Apr 28 11:26:47 EDT 2004
>===== Original Message From "A. Philip Brown II" <pbrown at GBS.EDU> =====
>Are there other more objective grounds for rejecting the Massoretic pointing
>of such Pual suffix / Hophal prefix forms?
For whatever it's worth, Jouon thinks that the forms actually are pointed
correctly, but that it happened that the Qal passive forms actually resembled
the Pual/Hofal mix. I don't think this is a very strong position, but it
should be noted that it's out there. I'm not going to try to address the
question of which grounds are objective and which aren't (or varying degrees
thereof). Some other factors to consider:
1) The Nifal is not universal among Semitic languages, and its role in BH is a
bit muddled. It is not strictly the passive of the Qal, although this is one
of its more common functions. This suggests that it is a secondary passive
2) The Qal passive exists in other cognate languages, notably Aramaic, where
it drifted out of use along with the other internal passive forms. The
internal passive participles held on longer than other forms, which would
correspond well with the survival of the Qal passive participle in Hebrew.
3) On a similar note, the Qal passive participle itself suggests an internal
passive used more broadly at one time or another.
4) There seems to have been a general increase in Piel-Pual forms in Rabbinic
Hebrew. As I recall, Steve Fassberg has documented this development. This
trend may have helped to obscure the former identity of the Qal passives.
Combined with the arguments you noted from IBHS, I think there's a good basis
for it. The other factor to keep in mind is that internal passives as a whole
group are generally quite rare. I think it's easy to get the impression that
there are a few vestigial Qal passives hanging around with incorrect pointing,
making them relatively insignificant. But when you really look at the
evidence, the numbers of Qal passives are generally comparable to those of
other internal passive forms.
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