[b-hebrew] The perspective of this native speaker of Modern Hebrew of Biblical Hebrew tenses

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Sat Nov 27 17:29:54 EST 2004

Dear Peter,

Se my comments below.

Peter Kirk wrote:

> snip
>> To answer your question about numbers, I would like to point out that 
>> apocopation is connected with *person* and not with *root*.  This 
>> suggests that apocopation is phonologically/morphologically and not 
>> etymologically conditioned.  I bring a quote from p. 120 of my 
>> dissertation:
>> "In the 1st person singular/plural group, 66.9 percent of the forms 
>> that could have been apocopated are normal and 33.1 percent are 
>> apocopated.  In the 3rd person plural group of Hiphils, 75 percent of 
>> the forms that could have been apocopated are normal, and 25 percent 
>> are apocopated; in the 3rd person singular group only 1.3 percent of 
>> the forms that could have been apocopated are normal and 98.7 percent 
>> are apocopated.  The logical conclusion to draw is that the choice of 
>> apocopation or not is connected with phonological factors and 
>> morphology, because the stress patterns are different in 3rd person 
>> masculine singular forms compared with 1st person singular/plural and 
>> 3rd person masculine plural forms."
> Do these data apply to WAY- prefixed forms, to non-prefixed forms, or 
> to others? One reason for different results for the first person is 
> that, as is well known, first person jussive (or cohortative) forms 
> commonly (although not always) carry a suffix -A (written as he), and 
> this suffix rules out apocopation. I would need to look more closely 
> at the reason for the difference between singular and plural. I don't 
> rule out phonological factors applying alongside semantic ones. 

The data above includes only WAYYIQTOLs.  The table which the comments 
above relates to, refers to  715 WAYYIQTOLs of 1st person 
singular/plural.  Of these, 101 have a paragogic he ("cohortative"),  51 
are apocopated; 103 could have been apocopated but are not; and 460 
could not be apocopated.  This shows clearly that non-apocopation was 
the trend for 1st person-forms; the opposite of what we would expect if 
a short form was sought whenever possible because the antecedent was a 
short  YAQTUL.

Best regards

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo


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