[b-hebrew] Vav consecutive Gen 1:3

George Athas gathas at hotkey.net.au
Thu May 27 07:35:11 EDT 2004


Hi Vadim!

> I always wondered, If the grammar is so complicated, how did the ancients
> spoke these languages, anyway? Surely it looked to them simpler than that.

Good point. I think the traditional understanding ('conversive waw') is the complicated way of seeing things. It involves saying that an imperfect means uncompleted action, but when a waw is attached it means completed action, and the for some reason the form sometimes shortens when the waw is attached. It's much simpler and makes more sense of more things to say that the Imperfect is a totally different type of verb to the Preterite.

Nevertheless, Occam's Razor (the most simple explanation is right) should not guide us here. We need to look at the evidence of the language itself.

Best regards,

GEORGE ATHAS
Lecturer in Biblical Languages
Southern Cross College
Sydney, Australia



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