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

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Aug 9 09:21:01 EDT 2005


On 09/08/2005 13:49, Vadim Cherny wrote:

> ...
>
>
>Present tense with the past reference is "говорю", "I say" in the sense "I
>was telling."
>  
>

OK, so this is a kind of historic present, a reasonably common 
construction in several languages (I'm not sure about Hebrew), linked 
with a displacement of the deictic centre back to the time of the 
events. As you say,

>... It is about emphasis, re-living the events.
>
>  
>
>>And if the verb in the main clause is past, does the verb in the
>>    
>>
>subordinate clause remain future?
>  
>
>
>Often, but not necessarily. I guess, an excited person in the emphatic
>speech is lax about grammar. Future-present combination is common;
>past-present is less so ("every time I met him, I say him"); future-past is
>also rare ("every time as I will meet him, I told him"); present (with
>participle) - present is also encountered ("every time as I meet him, I tell
>him").
>  
>

OK, so we are talking about informal non-standard speech. That helps to 
explain things. And the same kinds of things do happen in English, but 
not entirely freely. Of course we might doubt the relevance of this to 
biblical Hebrew.

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




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