[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53

furuli at online.no furuli at online.no
Sun May 16 04:02:37 EDT 2004

Dear Vadim,

Over a period of ten years I have analyzed all the more than 70.000 
verbs of the Tanakh, the DSS and the inscriptions as to temporal 
reference, modality and different discourse functions. My conclusion, 
for which I present more than one thousand examples in my thesis, is 
that Classical Hebrew has no tenses but two aspects (with very 
different characteristics compared with their English counterparts). 
The forms YIQTOL, WAYYIQTOL, and WEYIQTOL all represent the 
imperfective aspect and QATAL  and WEQATAL represent the perfective 
aspect.  The view of the "reversal of tense" by WE- WAY(Y)  collides 
head on with the data material.

There are two basic weaknesses in previous studies:

1. There is no systematic attempt to differentiate between past tense 
and past reference.
2. Definitions of English aspects  are applied uncritically to Hebrew 
aspects, without any attempt to study the Hebrew aspects in their own 
right and find their real nature.

Before these weaknesses are remedied, the study of Hebrew verbs jus 
lead to dead ends.

Best regards


Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

>Dear Rolf,
>You can't be serious on that. Out of head, 90% of wa's reverse the tense.
>Those that don't represent probably the same percentage of the erroneous
>tenses as encountered in the verbs without wa. Wa's overwhelmingly do
>reverse the tense, wouldn't you agree with this?
>conclusion, there is no evidence that qatal and weqatal are separate
>and independent conjugations or that they have different origins.
>I agree that there is no difference between the two forms - weqatal
>is a qatal with the conjunction WAW prefixed.<
>Best regards,

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