[b-hebrew] 998 non-past wyyqtl's, Dave

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed Dec 1 15:22:02 EST 2004

On 01/12/2004 19:47, Dave Washburn wrote:

>Hi Bryan,
>On Wednesday 01 December 2004 12:13, B. M. Rocine wrote:
> ...
>>Take paraphrasing with wayyiqtol as an example of "crossing the white
>>line." When a second wayyiqtol paraphrases or is identicle an earlier one,
>>the writer and reader's shared world knowledge cooperate with the meaning
>>of the wayyiqtol.  Writer and reader know the same event doesn't happen
>>twice. Writer and reader both realize we are back-looping with the second
>>wayyiqtol to cover the same sequence again.
>Let me be sure of one thing here: are you indicating that such a "crossing" is 
>deliberate on the part of the speaker or writer?  To continue your analogy, 
>in general when someone crosses that line, they do it on purpose, and for 
>what they consider to be a good reason ...

I'm not sure that I like this traffic laws analogy. Sure, it explains 
why people don't always follow the rules. But it also implies that there 
is some set of prescriptive rules of language which people consciously 
break. But there were no prescriptive rules in biblical times, which 
people could get in trouble for breaking. There was just a set of 

Perhaps a better analogy would be that people don't go to weddings and 
funerals in jeans or to the beach in a tux, although it is nowhere 
written down that you mustn't. At least, usually they don't. If you find 
someone breaking such rules, there may be a good reason, or it may just 
be that someone is being eccentric, or doesn't understand the 
conventions. So you are wasting your time trying to find explanations 
for every last case. And if you go back to insisting that such social 
rules are meaningful (or semantic) only if there are no exceptions, you 
have to conclude that there are no meaningful rules.

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

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