[b-hebrew] Kamatz katan; was: Translating

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Sat Oct 7 14:22:08 EDT 2006

On 07/10/2006 19:04, Rolf Furuli wrote:

> ... A starting 
> approach to find which Hebrew verbs are used with past and future reference 
> is to read about the construction of the temple. First we read what will be 
> done, and then we read that it has been done. The principal verbs used in 
> these accounts are YIQTOLs for the future and QATALs for the past. ...

Yes, indeed, if you mean the construction of the Tabernacle in the 
latter part of Exodus. But you should also note that the secondary or 
continuation verbs are WEQATAL and WAYYIQTOL respectively, a position 
most simply explained by the "waw conversive" type of theory.

> ... Theis is a situation that is very similar to 
> Hebrew narratives with WAYYIQTOLs and QATALs. ...

Not really. In Hebrew parallel to the Ugaritic QATAL and WAYYIQTOL are 
used with past reference and YIQTOL and WEQATAL are used with future 
reference, with the distinctions between past and future made 
consistently. In these Hebrew texts there is not a trace of the 
situation found in Ugaritic in which the same forms are used for past 
and future. WAYYIQTOL is in fact never used in Hebrew with true future 
reference, although sometimes maybe as some kind of "past in the future" 
or "future perfect" relative tense. (OK, maybe you will find me 
occasional examples, but a few examples may result from mispointing of 
WEYIQTOL and other scribal errors, and in many cases the reference time 
is debatable.)

> ... Please note that the languages are very close. In my list of words 
> from Kirta, between 70% and 80% of the Ugaritic words have Hebrew cognates.
That's not really all that close. This degree of lexical correspondence 
doesn't imply much closeness in other ways. In fact I guess that at 
least 70% of English words, chosen at random from a dictionary, have 
Latin cognates which come direct or through Romance languages, rather 
than from proto-Indo-European. That does not imply that English is "very 
close" to Latin in terms of syntax and morphology.

Peter Kirk
E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
Blog:    http://speakertruth.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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