[b-hebrew] WAV Conjunction

wattswestmaas wattswestmaas at eircom.net
Sat May 29 15:17:41 EDT 2004

Dave  --  Yes I can see that and the way you worded it is how I understand
things.  BUT also the WAV with an audible shewa (in the presence of a
acertain governing verb of course) denotes future in an otherwise PAST tense
verb.  What I would be grateful to appreciate is the whole concept of this
prefix that dictates 'Time' in hebraic thought.


On Saturday 29 May 2004 08:57, wattswestmaas wrote:
> 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'
> is 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
> in translation.

While I don't necessarily buy the idea that the prefix denotes time per se,
is precisely this feature, i.e. the way that it changes the force of the
in some major way, that has led me to conclude that the WA.
(waw-patah-dagesh, i.e. next letter doubled) is not a conjunction at all,
a distinct syntactical prefix that superficially happens to resemble the
conjunction.  Boiling that down to plain English, I don't think it's a
conjunction, I think it's a separate prefix that serves specific syntactic

Dave Washburn
Learning about Christianity from a non-Christian
is like getting a kiss over the telephone.

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