[b-hebrew] Tenses and aspects; was: footnotes

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Aug 8 13:05:49 EDT 2005


On 08/08/2005 07:58, Vadim Cherny wrote:

>>>... Does he choose statistically most
>>>common translation? Or, perhaps, a translation justified by the context?
>>>      
>>>
>Or,
>  
>
>>>by the historical perspective? Or, by his exegesis needs? ...
>>>      
>>>
>>Not his or her personal needs of course, but his or her exegesis of the
>>text, with a view to the context, the historical perspective etc. It is
>>impossible to translate without doing this kind of exegesis.
>>
>>    
>>
>
>Why? I cannot imagine exegetical needs affecting, say, Livy or, say, Beowulf
>translation. Even Sumerian texts, open to variant readings, are generally
>translated without recourse to preconceptions.
>
>  
>
Vadim, you clearly don't have a clue about how professional translation 
is done.

> ...
>
>Exegetical needs sometimes give rise to grammatical superstitions like the
>ludicrous idea that Hebrew lacked tenses. See how many advocates of that
>bizarre assumption are around, even though there is not a single language
>around--nor could there be for obvious semantical reasons--that lack tenses.
>Chinese, for example, has tenses in adverbial format, but since there is no
>comparable constructs in Hebrew, Rolf et al want us to believe that Hebrews
>did not distinguish between past and future. Thus, exegetical needs produce
>not only the garbled grammar, but garbled philosophy.
>  
>

Do you know more about Burmese than the professional linguists who state 
that it has no tenses?

Of course Hebrew had some obvious adverbial devices for stating clearly 
whether an event was past, present or future if necessary.

-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/




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