[b-hebrew] The mystery of vav-consecutive

Ken Penner pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
Tue May 24 14:41:10 EDT 2005

> In your checking of the history of these grammars, did you 
> look at the 
> German precursors of Gesenius 1st English edition, eg., when 
> was Rodiger's 
> edition done (this is not the first English edition you are 
> referring to, 
> is it?)? 

The name is, as you suspected, Roediger or Rödiger with an umlaut. (I thought I typed the umlaut when I wrote the message; I wonder if my mail software stripped it.)
As the preface to GKC notes (v, n1) W. Gesenius himself published 13 editions, the first in 1813. I believe E. Rödiger was Gesenius' student; he produced editions 14 to 21 (1845-1872). Then W. Kautzsch (the K of GKC) published editions 22-28 (1878-1910). Collins and Cowley translated Kautzsch's 26th edition in 1898, and Cowley translated Kautzsch's 28th edition in 1910.

> How did the editions before Rodiger (or is it Roediger, ie., 
> o-umlaut) discuss this issue?  

L. McFall wrote, "Though W. Gesenius (1786-1842) made great advances in the thirteen editions of his grammar, from 1813 to 1842, he never departed from the conversive theory, as can be seen in B. Davies' translation of the 15th edition (1852:79ff.). However, when the task of revising Gesenius' grammar fell to his pupil, E. Rödiger, he immediately adopted Ewald's grammatical terms, Perfect and Imperfect. This can be seen from T. J. Conant's translation of the 17th edition (1857:93ff.)" (_Enigma_, 15).

> Also, do you have any idea 
> where Kennedy got 
> the term "aspect"?

I think a couple of other readers of this list would be more qualified than me to comment. I will quote from one, who refers to the other:

"DeCaen claims that the perception of Ewald's theory as aspectual derives from a mistranslation of a key introductory statement in Ewald's grammar (1996:134). The passage reads: 'Die einfachste unterscheidung der zeit des handelns is aber die dass der redende zunächst nur die zwei grossen gegensäze unterscheide unter denen alles denkbare handlen gedacht werden kann' (1870:349). James Kennedy in his 1879 English translation renders the passage: "But the simplest distinction of time in an action is, that the speaker first of all merely separates between the two grand and opposite aspects under which every conceivable action may be regarded.' (Ewald 1879:1)" (John A. Cook, 84). Cook here has a note: "DeCaen claims that the term aspect was first introduced into Western grammar by Georg Curtius in his study of the Greek verb (1846) (1996:134); however, Binnick cites Jacob Grimm (1785-1863) as the first to extend the idea of aspect to non-Slavic languages, namely, Germanic (1991:141) (cf. chap 1, n. 12)."

> BTW, if you have easy access to it, it would be nice to see 
> the German of 
> the quote from Ewald, since the verb "separates" would most 
> likely be from 
> the same root as "Untersheid(e/en)", and it seem strange to 
> translate the 
> verb one way and the noun a different way in the same sentence.

See the quote from Cook, above.

Ken Penner
Co-Director, Online Critical Pseudepigrapha: http://www.uwo.ca/kings/ocp/
Flash! Pro vocabulary software: http://s91279732.onlinehome.us/flash

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