[b-hebrew] Verbs, text-segmenting and clause-types
furuli at online.no
Fri Aug 12 13:43:47 EDT 2005
See my comments below.
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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
> 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
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.
University of Oslo
> Hayyim Obadyah
> , MPA
> New York, New York 10027
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