[b-hebrew] Fw: WAYYIQTOL
furuli at online.no
furuli at online.no
Thu Mar 11 09:59:00 EST 2004
Allow me a few comments regarding the Masoretes.
>So, George, just to clarify: are you saying that there are in fact
>two different verb forms, as clearly seen with 3-He etc roots, but
>that before the Masoretes these were distinct only in certain verbs?
>Clearly they were written the same in unpointed texts. Are you
>saying that they were also pronounced the same, until the Masoretes?
>If so, that conflicts with the general picture of the Masoretes as
>careful recorders of what they heard. I wonder why they departed so
>blatantly from their regular practice on this one.
The Masoretes would not dream of changing a single consonant of the
text, and they were extremely careful to follow exactly what they
heard recited in the synagogue. Yet they were inventors, not of new
grammatical rules or new interpretations, but of vowel points and
accents. Their task was to translate what they heard in the synagogue
into vowels and accent marks. When we compare with the DSS, we see
that by and large they followed a very old system of vowels, i.e.
their punctuation represents pronunciation used B.C.E.
As to what today is called WAYYIQTOL, WEYIQTOL and WEQATAL, they
carefully followed what they heard in the synagogue as well. Because
shewa and patah could be pronounced in a similar, or almost similar
way (as an "a" sound), the pronunciation of the first syllable of all
three forms could have been the same, or almost the same. But the
stress may have been different, because narrative accounts probably
would be read in a different way than future and modal accounts. The
Masoretes had at their disposition shewa and patah, which were
pronounced similarly. And the fact that they chose one of them for
verbs which often have past reference and the other for verbs which
often have future or modal reference, is no departure from their
faithfulness to tradition. This is no more strange than that they
introduced hatef-vowels in certain situations. Thus the Masoretes
were faithful to the consonant text, and they were faithful to the
pronunciation that they heard in the synagogue. But in time,
grammarians read into the Masoretic pointing something that was not
intended by the Masoretes themselves, and the four-component model
was born. So these later grammarians are the real inventors of the
new grammatical theories that Hebrew has four conjugations, while the
Masoretes were the ones who invented the graphical difference between
verbs, which made it logical to distinguish between four, or rather
five (WEYIQTOL as well) groups of verbs.
>peter at qaya.org (personal)
>peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
University of Oslo
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