[b-hebrew] Verbs, text-segmenting and clause-types

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Fri Aug 12 13:43:47 EDT 2005

Dear Hayyim,

See my comments below.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Bearpecs at aol.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 6:24 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Verbs, text-segmenting and clause-types

> Could someone tell me whether (a) I just totally missed this part of  the
> discussion; (b) nobody has thought to bring these points into the 
> discussion; or
> (c) these data are discredited and no one pays attention to them  anymore.
> Dahood in the Anchor Bible Psalms (e.g. vol III, pp 420ff) cites  numerous
> examples of QATAL followed by YIQTOL in parallel passages and both 
> referring to
> the same timeframe (most often past, but sometimes present).   He cites
> qtl-yqtl parallels as common in Ugaritic poetry.

Dahood is absolutely correct. In Ugaritic, Akkadian and  Phoenician we find 
exactly the same as in Hebrew: prefix-forms and suffix-forms very often have 
the same temporal reference.  And do not forget the Aramaic of Daniel. My 
analysis of the verbs in this book gives the following numbers.

Of 178 YIQTOLs: 34 past, 27 present, 88 future, 1 present completed.
of 281 QATALs: 216 past, 11, present, 3 future, 44 present completed.
Of 161 active participles: 103 past, 48 present, 4 future, 2 present 

Dahood`s observations are played down and neglected because they do not fit 
the accepted theories. However, the theories are wrong rather than Dahood.
> To me, this might seem to support the argument that the prefixed and
> suffixed forms are not clearly distinguished semantically for either tense 
> or
> aspect; but on the other hand the fact that this appears to be a fixed 
> pattern  only
> in poetry suggests the opposite: i.e. that only in this poetic convention
> are they parallel and they do in fact carry semantic differences in 
> general
> usage.

There are strong reasons to conclude that the prefix-forms and suffix-forms 
are semanticallydifferent. The fact that they often have the same temporal 
reference does not suggest that they are not aspects, because both aspects 
can refer to past present and future. But the similarity in reference do 
show that they are not tenses. The view that a similarity of temporal 
reference between the forms only occur in poetic passages is a 
misunderstanding.  Alvieri Niccacci, who strongly defends the view that word 
order is the deciding fator, will soon publish an article where he argues 
that the "semantic" meaning of verb forms is similar in prose and poetry.

Best regards

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo
> Hayyim Obadyah
> , MPA
> New York, New  York 10027
> _______________________________________________

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