[b-hebrew] Tenses - Deut 6:4

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 27 16:46:23 EST 2007

Gday George,

Could I suggest a rewording to: "According to some recent research..."
That is, not everyone writing recently argues for aspect. See, for
example, ch 5 of Matthew Anstey's dissertation "Towards a Functional
Discourse Grammar Analysis of Tiberian Hebrew," which I think you have
in your college library from memory.

Also, are you able to give some response to this unanswered post?


David Kummerow.

> According to recent research in Hebrew, there is no real 'tense' in Hebrew.
> Rather, there is verbal aspect, which determines not so much 'when' an
> action occurs (tense), or even 'how' the action occurs (Aktionsart), but
> rather 'where' the action occurs in relation to the reader.
> My quick surmise of the verbal conjugations:
> Qatal = concrete action, viewed up close
> Yiqtol = less-concrete action, viewed at a distance
> Wayyiqtol = progressive action which 'materialises' in a narrative context,
> driving a story forward
> Weqatal = adjunctive action which expands the thought begun by a previous
> verb, without moving to a new thought.
> In all these conjugations, the context provided by the surrounding text
> (deictic markers) helps determine the 'tense' we use in English translation.
> As I've mentioned in past messages, I'm writing a Hebrew grammar which takes
> this verbal aspect approach ('Dynamic Spatial Aspect' approach). At present,
> I self-publish it each year for use at various institutions, with a view to
> building it up into a volume for 'proper' publication in the near future.
> Best Regards, 
> Moore Theological College (Sydney) 
> 1 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia 
> Ph: (+61 2) 9577 9774 

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