[b-hebrew] Prophetic Perfect? Psalm 107

UUC unikom at paco.net
Fri May 21 12:50:00 EDT 2004

Dear Rolf,

I'm out of new arguments on this topic  :)

Best regards,


> You beg the question! Classical Hebrew is a dead language without
> informants, so you do not hear anybody say words, and you do not see
> anybody use verb forms. I am not sure that you understand the very
> important linguistic difference between "semantic meaning" and
> "conversational pragmatic implicature" and how this applies to
> WAYYIQTOLs and other verb forms.
>   A substantive (e.g. duck) has nothing to do with a verb, and you
> even argue on the basis if the *reference* of the substantive, not on
> the basis of its *^meaning*. Remember Ogden's triangle of
> signification with sign, meaning, and reference at the three corners.
> This is applicable to substantives but not directly to
> morphosyntactic (verb) forms. But if we should learn anything from
> it, we agree regarding the *reference* of the WAYYIQTOL  of )MR in
> Genesis 1:3, it has past reference. The crucial question, however, is
> its *meaning*.  Is its past reference based on the context, just as
> in the case of the Phoenician infinitive absolutes I have mentioned
> -thus being pragmatic? Or is its past reference an instrinsic part of
> the verb form WAYYIQTOL itself - thus being semantic?  You cannot
> answer this question by mentioning how modern people refer to
> substantives.
> Best regards
> Rolf
> Rolf Furuli
> University of Oslo
> >Dear Rolf,
> >
> >>In my view traditional Hebrew grammar itself contains many fundamental
> >errors<
> >I wrote Hebrew grammar book. The ancient language is mathematically
> >without a single oddity.
> >
> >How do you know that English word "duck" means a duck and not an
> >Because most times you hear someone say "duck" it refers to this food
> >or still alive). If someone calls another bird a duck, or uses the word
as a
> >verb, etc, yourecognize it as deviations. Why? Because statistically the
> >word "duck" refers to a duck.
> >Sometimes the words change their meaning over the time. How do we know
> >Because statistically the new meaning becomes increasingly common.
> >Some people, perhaps, write "duk." How do we know it's wrong? Because
> >others write "duck."
> >But then English lost "thou" form, How do we know that it is not people
> >err, but the language change? Because no one uses this word in the modern
> >communication.
> >Grammar is about statistics.
> >
> >
> >Best regards,
> >
> >Vadim
> >
> >>  I trust a physician who examines my eyes much more than one who just
> >>  counts them. To apply general statistical models and to use known
> >>  error rates in connection with the verbal system of a dead language,
> >>  is the same as to count eyes. We have to make a *qualitative* study
> >>  of the verbal system of Classical Hebrew, not just a *quantitative*
> >>  one!  True, statistics is a part of a qualitative study, but just a
> >>  part of it.
> >>
> >>  My basic criticism of previous studies of Hebrew verbs is the
> >>  following: No scholar, as far as I know, have ever published a study
> >>  of Hebrew verbs where a systematic difference between past reference
> >>  and past tense have been carried out.
> >>
> >>  Let me now ask you a question: Please take a look at Genesis 1:1 and
> >>  the first WAYYIQTOL in the verse and tell me: How can you know (and I
> >>  am asking for scientific reasons) that this WAYYIQTOL *semantically*
> >>  speaking *is* past tense (grammaticalized location in time), and that
> >>  the past reference is not  pragmatic implicature? To state the
> >>  question a little differently: Which scientific reasons do you have
> >>  to argue that this WAYYIQTOL  is not a YIQTOL with past reference (as
> >>  the two in Genesis 2.5 which have past reference) with the
> >>  conjunction WAW prefixed? I am not satisfied with references to
> >>  grammars, but I want to hear linguistic arguments.
> >>
> >>  BTW. I do not say that the Tanakh does not contain errors, but to
> >>  speak of "grammatical errors" you must first establish "the true
> >>  grammar" by which you can detect these errors. In my view traditional
> >>  Hebrew grammar itself contains many fundamental errors.
> >>
> >>
> >>  Best regards
> >>
> >>  Rolf
> >>
> >>
> >>  Rolf Furuli
> >  > University of Oslo
> >  >
> >>
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