[b-hebrew] WAV Conjunction

UUC unikom at paco.net
Sat May 29 11:05:53 EDT 2004

Dear Chris,

Probably the major function of waw prefix is poetic: to change accents.
Also, waw as "and" is very convenient to make a pause in reciting; this
function of "and" remained in Old Slavonic and even Russian until the 19th
As for the tenses, Hebrew doesn't have the present tense, simply because
every action is either past or future; present is only a moment. Present
tense is basically a grammatical abstraction, not a practical necessity.

Best regards,

Vadim Cherny

> Hello board members,  I do not want to open a fiery debate about the
> infamous use of the WAV conjunction/consecutive since I have read many of
> your hot debates about this matter.
> What I really would like to appreciate is this: WHY is the tense of the
> classical hebrew verb, for the greater part, dictated by this one letter
> prefix.  While I understand that classical hebrew really only exists in
> PERFECT and IMPERFECT 'idea'  --  I wondered if there was some explanation
> for the central position that this WAV occupies in the hebraic thinking of
> 'time'?  Past, present and future tenses seem such a logical way to
> ravel  --  but is this really a MODERN CONCEPT in language?
> I know that context plays a part in determining 'time' but this 'context'
> an emphasis used in the translation process.  The hebrews did not need to
> translate but simply 'understand'.  The WAV plays a hugely important role
> and one that IRONICALLY leads to quite some debate rather than clarity in
> translation.
> I will appreciate all your comments.
> Thankyou - Chris.
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