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

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Mon Nov 29 04:46:09 EST 2004


Dear Peter,

Se my comments below.

Peter Kirk wrote:

> On 28/11/2004 21:38, Rolf Furuli wrote:
>
>> ...
>>
>>>
>>> Tentative conclusion: in the first person, WEYIQTOL forms are not 
>>> apocopated, but WAYYIQTOL forms are mostly but not always 
>>> apocopated. Does your data contradict this? 
>>
>>
>>
>> My data are as follows:  Of 543 WEYIQTOLs of 1st p. there are 238 
>> (43.8 %) with cohortative.  Of the 69 lamedh he-verbs without suffix, 
>> 2 (3 %) are apocopated and 67 are not.  Of all 1,217 WEYIQTOLs 85 
>> lamedh he-verbs  and 68 other verbs are apocopated.  This means that 
>> 12.6 percent of all WEYIQTOLs are apocopated while 27 percent of all 
>> WAYYIQTOLs are apocopated.  Taking the environments where WAYYIQTOLs 
>> and WEYIQTOLs occur  into consideration, the differences may be 
>> understandable.  I analyze 774 WEYIQTOLs as modal and 443 as 
>> indicative, while I analyse only 2 percent of the WAYYIQTOLs as modal 
>> (I would guess that at least 10 percent of the WAYYIQTOLs are modal, 
>> but this is difficult to see, and therefore I have only counted those 
>> that I, with a reasonable certainty can say are modal).  When I speak 
>> of environment, I think of narrative, where the clauses were recited 
>> in one way, and modal/future where the recitation probably was 
>> different.  If apocopation to some degree depends on the rhytm and 
>> stress of the clause, I would think of apocopation as more likely in 
>> narrative recitation.
>>
>> The conclusion is that the difference between apocopated WAYYIQTOLs 
>> and WEYIQTOLs that are apocopated is not so great that a semantic 
>> difference is suggested. Further, the apocopation of WAYYIQTOLs to a 
>> rather great extend depends on the grammatical person of the verb.
>>
> Thank you, Rolf. Well, I conclude that apocopation is much less common 
> in 1st person than in other persons:
>
> WEYIQTOL:
>
> 1st person: 3/543 = 0.06% (ISA 41:28; 42:6; HOS 11:4)
> All persons: 12.6% (your data)
> (543/1217 = 45% are 1st person)
>
> WAYYIQTOL:
>
> 1st person: 51/708 = 7.2%
> All persons: 27% (your data)
> (708/15032 = 4.7% are 1st person)
>
> YIQTOL (including WEYIQTOL):
>
> 1st person: 13/2803 = 0.046% (DEU 18:16; 1SA 14:36; JOB 23:9,11; ISA 
> 41:23,28; 42:6; EZK 5:16; HOS 9:15; 11:4; ZEP 1:2,3,3)
> All persons: 841/11869 = 7.1%
> (2803/11869 = 24% are 1st person)
>
> The implication is a strong preference for the longer form in the 
> first person only. But there is also a very strong correlation between 
> apocopation of a first person prefixed form and it being a WAYYIQTOL: 
> 51/64 = 80% of these are WAYYIQTOL although in general only 708/3511 = 
> 20% of first person prefixed forms are WAYYIQTOL.
>
> It is also interesting to see that there proportion of WEYIQTOLs which 
> are 1st person is nearly ten times higher than the proportion of 
> WAYYIQTOLs. That tends to skew the statistics.
>
> It would also be interesting to see how well the apocopation of 
> WEYIQTOLs correlates with a jussive (modal) sense. There is quite a 
> strong correlation, although far from a perfect one, with all YIQTOLs, 
> and I would expect WEYIQTOLs to match. 


Of the 155 apocopated WEYIQTOLs I analyze 42 (27.1 %) as indicative, and 
113 (72.9) as modal.  As for the 217 apocopated YIQTOLs I analyze 12 
(5.5 %) as indicative.

Best regards

Rolf Furuli
Univesity of Oslo







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