[b-hebrew] VERBS

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed Jul 27 06:56:59 EDT 2005

On 27/07/2005 07:39, Rolf Furuli wrote:

>In connection with the cancelability/noncancelability of characteristics we 
>can perhaps speak of three groups of verbs:
>1) Verbs where the particular characteristic easily is blotted out or 
>changed by the context, and it is clearly seen that the characteristic is 
>2) Verbs where the characteristic is not blotted out or changed by the 
>context, except in special cases, such as idiomatic use, illustrative use, 
>slang, idiosyncratic or substandard use.
>3) Verbs where the characteristic cannot be blotted out by the context.
>I do not have a list of all the verbs that have semantic characteristics. My 
>task, therefore, is to
>demonstrate the existence of verbs belonging to group 3. So let us look at 
>some Hebrew examples.

I am happy to distinguish your groups 1 and 2, although not convinced 
that there is a hard distinction between the two - at least when moving 
synchronically between different registers of the same language. 
However, I remain sceptical that there are any verbs or other words in 
group 3, in any language. It seems that Dave and Joel agree with me, and 
both of them seem to know their linguistics.

And, even if there are group 3 verbs, I don't think you will be able to 
demonstrate this from biblical Hebrew. The best that you can demonstrate 
is that there is no evidence of the characteristic being blotted out in 
any of the contexts found in the Hebrew Bible, and the small amount of 
inscriptional material. But the size of the corpus limits the variety of 
those contexts, and its nature means that there are especially few of 
the informal conversational contexts (let alone "slang, idiosyncratic or 
substandard use") in which characteristics are most likely to be blotted 

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

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