[b-hebrew] Piel etc.

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Fri May 13 11:03:44 EDT 2005

To add to the comments made here, regarding the non-
"mathematical" nature of grammar, consider also:

1) http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/2005-February/022474.html
where I suggested that a Qal
form of LQT. became Piel in later Hebrew, whereas both
have the same semantic significance.  This makes
sense as a linguistic shift, but it makes it hard to classify
such verbs "mathematically."

2) The root nqm which has a Piel, but whose passive is
Huphal.  Again, this breaks the "mathematic" equations.
The passive is not an exact passive since there are
three agents - the avenger, the victim and the culprit.
The Piel has the avenger/victim as subject/object, but the
Huphal has culprit as the subject and not the victim (Piel's
object).  Maybe that's the reason for the assymetry.

3) The root $lx which has both Qal and Piel, the Piel not
being really causative but very much an "emphatic" sending

I think the "emphatic" significance is usually given for Piel
because in some verbs it is intensive, and not causative,
but also, because the dagesh in the middle stem suggests
an "intensive" grammatical form.  The varying meanings of
the Piel are then coupled under the more ambiguous
"intensive" classification.

Yitzhak Sapir

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