[b-hebrew] Aspect

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Jun 10 13:59:18 EDT 2004

On 10/06/2004 08:58, furuli at online.no wrote:

> Dear Peter,
> What I tried to convey can be illustrated the following way:  The verb 
> $YR "to sing" is marked for durativity and dynamicity. Regardless of 
> whether you use the verb as QATAL, YIQTOL, or participle, you can 
> never blot out the dynamicity and durativity of the root.  On the 
> other hand, punctiliarity and stativity can change, because a 
> punctiliar verb in Hebrew can in one context have a durative 
> interpretation and a stative verb can in one context have a fientive 
> interpretation. I  think most Hebraists would agree with this, 
> possible except in the case with punctiliarity.

I won't dispute this. But how much of it is a real discovery about 
Hebrew, and how much is logically derivable from the linguistic model 
and the definitions which you are using?

> Regarding aspect, my claim is that a YIQTOL will always be 
> imperfective, and no context can change that. Could you please refer 
> to scholars who believe in an aspectual interpretation of Hebrew verbs 
> who say that YIQTOL has one aspect in one context and another aspect 
> or no aspect in other contexts?

Well, only those who consider the WAY- prefix as converting the aspect. 
But that is irrelevant as we are not talking about the aspect of YIQTOL 
verbs. The verb in question is Niphal QATAL with a WE- prefix, isn't it? 
Many consider that this prefix converts the tense. Maybe some consider 
that it converts the aspect. I'm not sure.

My complaint is a different one, that you presented uncancellability of 
aspect as a conclusion of your studies of Hebrew when in fact it is a 
(language-independent) presupposition of your linguistic model.

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

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