[b-hebrew] Kamatz katan; Ashkenazi pronunciation; was: Translating
peter at qaya.org
Fri Oct 6 05:39:46 EDT 2006
On 05/10/2006 20:10, Rolf Furuli wrote:
> The important question, which seldom have been scrutinized, is: The morphological distinction, is it semantic (different semantic groups are distinguished) or is it pragmatic (basically represening function, i.e. past, present, and future reference /not "tense," which would be a semantic term/ and modality? ...
On the contrary, it has been scrutinised ad infinitum on this list. Do
we really have to go through this again?
> ... The answer stands and falls with the view of WAYYIQTOL. As a matter of fact, the WAYYIQTOL did not exist before the Masoretes! ...
This is not a matter of fact but of your interpretation. Even if there
was a real absence of evidence (and there is in fact plenty from
apocopation, and from distinctions in translations in LXX etc), absence
of evidence is not evidence of absence. There are plenty of things about
ancient languages of which we don't have direct evidence, only more or
less speculative reconstructions. The absence of evidence of how ancient
peoples spoke is not evidence that they didn't speak!
> ... Thus, the narrative form with prefixed vaw would have a retracted stress, and future and modal forms would not. ...
This sounds like a phonetic distinction corresponding to a semantic
distinction, which sounds to me like the distinction between two
different verb forms which were rightly (if on your reconstruction
somewhat perversely) marked by the Masoretes. Yes, I call the difference
between past narrative actions and future and modal senses a semantic
one. Again, maybe we can't prove it, but that is not evidence that it
was not semantic, as it is in most modern languages for which we can
prove such things with mother tongue speakers.
E-mail: peter at qaya.org
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