[b-hebrew] past-tense verbs in Modern Hebrew

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Tue Jul 26 18:22:03 EDT 2005


OK so it's slang

POINT IS, it does not follow the rules of Hebrew grammar and it only 
occurs in common every day informal usage.

And it's not something to base a whole argument over whether or not 
you know how to pronounce the Shem Meforash, or whether it is a verb 
or not, or whether it was in used in different contexts and not just 
in the Beit HaMikdash in one specific service, or whether pronouncing 
it or not reverberates in the universe, or whether the Christians or 
the Greeks knew how to pronounce it, or whether it consists of vowels 
or consonants, etc etc

Shoshanna





>It's "halachnu?" - and it's an idiom, idioms are in a class by themselves.

Not just HALAXNU? (lit., "we went," meaning "shall we go") but also
ZAZNU? ("we moved," meaning, "let's go") and others.  It's not an
idiom.  (Idioms are fixed sets of words, like "kick the bucket.")

It's one of these bizarre cases where semantic constraints (verb of
leaving, in this case) affects something it ought not (verb tense).
Another example is the English null plural, which generally applies to
animals you hunt: 1 deer/4 deer; 1 moose/4 moose; 1 fish/4 fish.  But
the only way you can get "4 cow" is if "I went out and shot me 4 cow
yesterday."

And now back to our regularly scheduled program....

-Joel



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