Re: [b-hebrew] Re:morpho-syntax, was Proverbs 5:16 - a declarationor a question ?

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at
Fri Dec 31 14:13:14 EST 2004


Where in 1 Samuel 11:12 is there an unmarked interrogatory? I translate it as follows:

And the people said unto Samuel, “Who is the one who said that Saul will be king upon us? Allow us that we may cause them to die.”

MY - Who...? - is a marked question. Statements make up the rest of the verse.

As for Gesenius, he had a philosophical ax to grind, and it seems sometimes he departed from strict linguistic practices where they contradicted his ideology. I noticed that in his dictionary, but seeing as I have not cracked open any of his writings for over 20 years, I no longer remember the details.

How many times are what you call unmarked interrogatories forced on people by incorrect traditions and points? Seeing as the points reflect a tradition separated from the time the words were written by 1,000 years or more, it is almost certain that the pronunciations had changed, but careful copying would minimize changes in the written consonental text.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Harold R. Holmyard III" <hholmyard at>
> Dear Bryan,
> > "Not only does v. 16 not have any sign of a question, as George mentioned, it
> > also features a clause-initial yiqtol form, which I think is highly unusual
> > in an unmarked question, particularly in a question that is not parallel
> > with a question.
> HH: There is an unmarked interrogative with a yiqtol form in 1 Sam
> 11:12. There is a noun subject that precedes it, as it does in some
> other cases, but I don't see that that is decisive.  GKC #150a
> lists Prov 5:16 as an interrogative sentence.
> HH: I accept Gesenius. I cannot search for unmarked questions, but
> they occur now and then, based on context for the most part.
> 					Yours,
> 					Harold Holmyard
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