[b-hebrew] VERBS

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Jul 26 07:30:06 EDT 2005

On 26/07/2005 09:41, Rolf Furuli wrote:

> ...
>It is correct that Peter`s assumptions regarding the classical Hebrew verbal 
>system are more widely accepted  than mine. But I do not think that the same 
>is true regarding his linguistic assumptions. Many linguists would perhaps 
>use other methods in their studies than does Mari Broman Olsen, whose model 
>I use (allthough I reject a part of it), but her linguistic principles are 
>sound. And I would say that the linguistic principles I use are mainstream 
>among linguists.  A professional linguist may disagree in some of my 
>applications of my principles and model, but I would not expect that the 
>principles or model would be criticized. (See the longer post I send today).
>Moreover, I have not seen that Peter have outlined any linguistic 
>assumptions at all.
It is true that in the past I have criticised the linguistic model Rolf 
uses, and especially the assumption within that model that semantic 
distinctions are totally uncancellable - although I accept that this 
kind of model is widely accepted. And I may have alluded to that point 
in the current discussions. However, Rolf is right in saying that my 
current criticisms of his work are not based not on linguistic 
assumptions. They are in fact based on simple logic - and in a form 
which I copied directly from one of Rolf's recent posts. For he wrote 
(concerning the work of others):

>It is *assumed* that Hebrew has four different conjugations ... This assumption prevents any real test of the number of conjugations of the verbal system, because if you start with four you end up with four.

My basic point concerning Rolf's argument is precisely the same as this 
except that I substitute "two" for "four" everywhere in the above 
sentences. As a result neither Rolf's work nor the work of these others 
provides any real test of the number of conjugations or verb forms (I 
prefer to avoid "conjugations" because this word is sometimes used for 
the binyanim, a distinct concept), any real evidence whether they are 
two or four. If this issue is to be decided, a different approach is 
required which makes no a priori assumptions about the number of verb forms.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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