[b-hebrew] WAV Conjunction

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Sat May 29 16:49:19 EDT 2004

But that's precisely part of my point: the tenses, IMO, don't indicate time.  
That whole question is part of the Great Debate over the mystery of the 
Hebrew Verbal System.  I reject the idea that they connote time, but I also 
reject the "aspect" view.  At the moment, I see the 4 basic forms (prefix, 
suffix, WA.+prefix, WAW+suffix) as denoting varieties of modality plus 
syntactic connection, but I haven't fully developed it yet.  I suppose, while 
I'm recovering from this surgery and can't do much else, I ought to work on 
it... :-)

On Saturday 29 May 2004 13:17, wattswestmaas wrote:
> 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.
> Chris
> 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
> the
> > 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
> clarity
> > in translation.
> Chris,
> While I don't necessarily buy the idea that the prefix denotes time per se,
> it
> is precisely this feature, i.e. the way that it changes the force of the
> verb
> 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,
> but
> 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
> purposes.
> --
> Dave Washburn
> http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
> Learning about Christianity from a non-Christian
> is like getting a kiss over the telephone.
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Dave Washburn
Learning about Christianity from a non-Christian
is like getting a kiss over the telephone.

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