[b-hebrew] A Reply - WAV question

wattswestmaas wattswestmaas at eircom.net
Sun May 30 10:36:11 EDT 2004

Hi Vadim,  I could'nt agree with you more!  (By the way I never had a dutch
lesson in my life, nor with modern hebrew or biblical hebrew - so i am at a
disadvantage) So I have to tackle things (At STRATEGIC MOMENTS) from a
purely grammatical perspective.  If your students can speak hebrew within a
week - When are you visiting Ireland?

So I must say at this juncture, in order to retain the original thread, my
hidden motive for asking the question as based upon this one very important
point: The Written Biblical hebrew handed down to us is very much a 'Faith
orientated' exposition (leaving out the historical and elements of poetical
aspect), influnced particularly by the promise of what was/is to come from
their perspective; The language in great part reflects this and so the
element of debate that surrounds this verbal stucture or that verbal
structure (IE, has it happened or is it to happen, or happened it then?)?
reflects the uncertainty of many to truly classify the imperfectum et
perfectum. It has rules - yes, there are grammatical borders - yes but there
are also exceptions and I feel that THEIR FAITH at that time places some of
these rules out of the accepted category and into a minor grammatical
deviation of its own, I seek not to be drawn into debate (this is out of my
league) I seek only to grasp some difficult issues ok?

Regards Chris.

Dear Chris,

That's because you were taught Dutch the wrong way, in the first place.
Somehow the children, being open-minded, can subconsciously distill the real
laws of the language from the mass of the empirical evidence. This is close
to what Chomsky says, actually. There is a built-in mechanism in our minds
for understanding the structure of language; but this window is closed in
My students start speaking Hebrew in a week, and the rest is only a matter
of learning more roots.

Best regards,

Vadim Cherny

> You say some very helpful things but this one comment defies explanation,
> My Two children aged 6 and 8 could not speak a word of English 11 months
> ago.  THey went straight into an Irish school and after just 4 months were
> speaking intelligible English and after 6 months they matched every other
> year old child's english.  Are there any adults capable of such enormous
> feats?
> It took me a massive 4 years to speak  Dutch on a level equal to native
> Hence I appreciate the importance of my own question.
> Respectfully yours
> Chris.
> Chris,
> You're talking of the people who wouldn't even understand a notion of
> perfect tense. Those were very simple folks. Don't ascribe to them a love
> modern grammar.
> Sincerely,
> Vadim Cherny
> >
> > Everything that you all have said has clarified a few things and I
> > appreciate the ways in which you have explained things.
> >
> > One last thing;  given that the imperfect can be so easily used to
> > an action that WILL take place at an unknown point in time in the
> > why use the Perfect to do the same job?  --  I dare to take an
> > UNproffessional leap here and offer a thought??  --  Could the idea
> > the imperfect be that:  This FUTURE event has a beginning but no known
> end,
> > whereas the perfect expresses an event to take place in the future that
> has
> > BOTH a beginning AND a KNOWN end.
> >
> > Since I have not had  the years behind me to acquaint myself with all
> > facts I am sure that I am incorrect, however I needed to suggest this.
> >
> > Thanks Chris.
> >
> >
> >
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