[b-hebrew] VERBS

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Tue Jul 26 14:00:05 EDT 2005

Dear Joel,

Before I make some comments on your post, I would like to know your answer 
to the following questions:

Is your opinion that no classical Hebrew verb has an intrinsic uncancellable 
property, such as durativity, dynamicity (change),  or telicity? In other 
words, can any classcal Hebrew verb whose Aktionsart/lexical meaning is 
durative also have a punctiliar interpretation, and can any verb whose 
Aktionsart/lexical meaning implies change have an interpretation that does 
not entail change? And can any verb whose Aktionsart/lexical meaning 
conceptually includes the end of the action have an interpretation where the 
end is not conceptually included?

Best regards

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dr. Joel M. Hoffman" <joel at exc.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Cc: <furuli at online.no>
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 5:30 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] VERBS

> >When I hear someone deny that characteristics of some words cannot be
>>blotted out by the context, I become stunned. This is so elementary that
>>even children understands it.
> If so, the children are wrong.
> The meanings and connotations of words absolutely depend on context,
> and your examples actually disprove your theory:
>>cancelled.  "To sing" will always indicate that words and melody come out 
>>someone`s mouth, and this is durativity and dynamicity.
>    "The deaf woman was able to sing with her hands, conveying
>     the melodic beauty through the intricacies of her
>     signing [sic, signing, not singing]."
> Here we see that the most fundamental aspect of "sing" can be changed
> by context.  Idiomatic usages such as "sing his praise," further
> demonstrate.  (For the non-native English speakers, "sing his praise,"
> just means "to praise," and is commonly used of ordinary people.  For
> example, "the politician demonstrated his loyalty to the president by
> singing his praises every chance he got.")
> Tense and apsect behave similarly.  In American English, for example,
> the news uses the present tense to describe the past (e.g., "Two
> children die in a fire overnight"); sportcasters use the future tense
> to describe the past (e.g., after a baseball batter swings at and
> misses the last pitch of a game, "and that'll be strike three!"); and
> everyone uses the present for the future (e.g., "I'm flying to Norway
> tomorrow.").  In Modern Hebrew, past-tense motion verbs (but not other
> verbs) are used for future-tense suggestions (e.g., "HALAXNU?,"
> literally "did we go?"  meaning "shall we go?") [This example is
> doubly interesting because "SHARNU," "did we sing?" cannot mean "shall
> we sing?"  It basically only works with motion verbs.]
> -Joel Hoffman

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