[b-hebrew] Piel etc.

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu May 12 20:14:03 EDT 2005


On 12/05/2005 03:30, Karl Randolph wrote:

> ...
>
>In my research on the meanings of words, I have found, for example, that the Hiphil always means causative of the Qal. So far, I have found no exceptions. Of course, it may be a circular argument, I came to the table expecting to find a fairly rigid rule, and found one, while one who does not expect such won’t.
>
>In a way, this is sort of like the English imperfect: verbs in the imperfect define the simple past, therefore verb forms relating to the simple past are imperfects. The same is true with all the time based grammar rules in English. 
>
>  
>
Well, the rule might be similar to that of the English imperfect, a case 
of inflectional morphology (and syntax); or it might be a classic case 
of derivational morphology, like English -ish, which simply doesn't have 
a single fixed semantic force. A priori you cannot know. So you should 
come to this without any preconceptions of whether there will be a 
fairly rigid rule, as far as this is possible.

> ...
>
>To put it in perspective, a more accurate way of saying it is that I think analysing lexeme meanings only according to semantic domains leads to a sloppy methodology that will cause even a careful worker to deliver sloppy results. I think that part of the reason that researchers have not been able to come up with a set of rules concerning the relationship between the different binyanim in Biblical Hebrew is because of this sloppy methodology. I have come across verses that are commonly given one translation because of how the translator understood the semantic domain, while I have a completely different understanding based on a tight integration and application of definition and grammar, leading to a different understanding of the semantic domain, and usually I think it fits the context better as well.
>  
>

Fair enough, I can accept that this is true of many researchers. Maybe 
sometime one will come along and do a better analysis which just might 
come up with a clearer rule for Piel.

>...
>
>I have to knock the Masoretes here. While they did wonders in preserving the consonental text, showed great creativity in devising a vowel system to record the pronunciation tradition they were handed, that tradition and those points are wrong often enough so as to mess up anyone who depends on them for definitional and grammatical analysis. That is why I never post the points when discussing questions on this list. But you have to admit, those Masoretes tried, and for the most part, did a great job.
>  
>

You will never convince anyone of a rule for the semantics of Piel 
without at least taking proper account of the Masoretic pointing, not 
just rejecting it but if necessary explaining where and why it has gone 
wrong.

>...
>
>Or maybe the reason I find so few exceptions is because I used the patterns to help me define the terms and understand their semantic domains in the first place.
>
>Does what I say make sense?
>
>  
>
Yes, but I fear that your method may be partly circular and so 
potentially faulty.

-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/



-- 
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.308 / Virus Database: 266.11.9 - Release Date: 12/05/2005




More information about the b-hebrew mailing list