[b-hebrew] Proverbs 13:1 (was Using an unpointed text)

JAMES CHRISTIAN READ JCR128 at student.anglia.ac.uk
Sun Aug 26 00:32:12 EDT 2007


PB: Song 4:8
‏ אִתִּ֤י מִלְּבָנוֹן֙ כַּלָּ֔ה
  אִתִּ֖י מִלְּבָנ֣וֹן תָּב֑וֹאִי‎

"with me from Lebanon O Bride,
with me from Lebanon come"

Ps 94:3
‏עַד־מָתַ֖י רְשָׁעִ֥ים ׀ יְהוָ֑ה
  עַד־מָ֝תַ֗י רְשָׁעִ֥ים יַעֲלֹֽזוּ׃‎

"until when the wicked, O Lord,
until when the wicked, will they exult?"

Now, I already know what you are thinking. Sure, that's "backwards  
gapping" but the other two units of meaning were repeated verbatim.  

JCR: I agree that these are excellent examples but the 
real problem with these examples being admissable as 
evidence is that poetic equivalents of the same type 
are conceptual plausible in just about any modern 
language. The theoretical poetic form in question - 
"A wise son father's rebuke but a scornful does not 
receive rebuke" - is conceptually impossible in all 
modern languages I am familiar with (and so I guessing 
it is probably conceptually impossible in all modern 
languages). The use of adjectives with noun quality is 
common practice in Italian and I see no reason why 
Hebrew should not be able to use such a linguistic 
mechanism. English does it as well sometimes - "I'm 
Italian" (adjective) "I'm an Italian" (now a noun). 
For this reason I have no problem with 'a scornful son' 
being understood by backward gapping and the extended 
use of adjectives with the following sense:

'A wise son [blah blah blah] while a scornful one [blah 
blah blah]'

In order to do something similar with forward gapping 
in English (and other modern languages for that matter)
we would need a sentence of the form.

"A clever kid does [something] while a stupid kid 
[doesn't]"

Italian version

"Un ragazzo furbo fa ... mentre uno stolto non"

Spanish version

"Un chico inteligente hace ... pero' uno tonto non"

Ukrainian version - transliterated

"Ditena rozumla robit [shost] ale durniy ne"

Similar forms are probably feasible in just about any 
modern language but I am yet to see a language which 
can do something like what you are suggesting:

"A clever kid [trace] but a stupid one doesn't listen"

In order to get this kind of function out of English 
we would need to formulate something like:

"A clever kid does, while a stupid kid doesn't listen" 

However, the more complex:

"A clever kid does his father's advice, while a stupid 
kid doesn't listen"

or

"A clever kid does his father's advice, while a stupid 
kid doesn't listen to correction"

don't really work as well. In fact, the only reason we 
got the less complex version to work was by the use of 
auxiliary verb 'does' to stimulate a linguistic trace 
of the missing verb which will later be supplied. 
However, these auxiliaries don't exist in other EU 
modern languages or the HB and so a weak case could be 
made on the basis of this argument.

What it would take in Hebrew to stimulate such a trace 
would be the direct object marker on the father's 
advice making it unambiguously the object of a missing, 
but later to be supplied, verb. In fact, this is the 
mechanism that languages with declined nouns use to 
stimulate a trace for forward gapping - they leave the 
noun in the accusative form making it unambiguous that 
verb is to be later supplied.

This brings us on to a question of significant 
linguistic importance that I haven't seen discussed on 
this list yet - why is the use of the direct object 
marker selective? What stimulated its use in some 
places and not in others?

Anyway, back to what we were discussing, is there 
anything in the text that plausibly creates a trace 
of unambiguous location that could only be fulfilled by 
the later supplement of a verb? There is none that I 
can see.

James Christian Read - BSc Computer Science 
http://www.lamie.org/hebrew       -  thesis1: concept driven machine translation using the Aleppo codex 
http://www.lamie.org/lad-sim.doc  -  thesis2: language acquisition simulation
http://www.lamie.org/ngeltah declined nouns use to 
stimulate a trace for forward gapping - they leave the 
noun in the accusative form making it unambiguous that 
verb is to be later supplied.

This brings us on to a question of significant 
linguistic importance that I haven't seen discussed on 
this list yet - why is the use of the direct object 
marker selective? What stimulated its use in some 
places and not in others?

Anyway, back to what we were discussing, is there 
anything in the text that plausibly creates a trace 
of unambiguous location that could only be fulfilled by 
the later supplement of a verb? There is none that I 
can see.

James Christian Read - BSc Computer Science 
http://www.lamie.org/hebrew       -  thesis1: concept driven ma




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