[b-hebrew] verb nun bet tet in hiphil
if at math.bu.edu
Wed Feb 28 17:24:30 EST 2007
1. In my opinion the hifphil is formatively inherently causative. It
contains the pair of personal pronouns HI-HI (HI = HU, gender
independently) interspersed among the radical letters. One HI is for
the causer and one HI is for the causee (so to speak). For instance:
HILBI$ = HI-LB-I-$ = HI-LB-HI-$, which means 'HI caused HI to be in
the state of LB$'.
2. You are right in saying that HIBIT is 'looked', not 'saw', for
which Hebrew uses RAH. It is similar to the use of HIK$IB,
'listened', as opposed to $AMA, 'heard' (although we do have HI$MIA).
The essential question in relation to HIBIT is: Who is this second
HI, the one that receives the action of NBT? Is it the image, is it
the mind, or is it the body being positioned for a better view? I
don't know. Matters are further obscured by the fact that we don't
know how the ancients understood the process of intercepting the flow
of visual and auditory information. In any event, the causative of
'see' is 'show' -- Hebrew HERAH -- as the causative of 'lie' is
'lay', as in 'to lay eyes on'.
3. The root NBT, from which HIBIT is derived, starts with the letter
N, which like the other A-H-M-N-T-Y letters may stand for a personal
pronoun, and is dropped. Indeed: MA-BIT, 'I am looking', A-BIT, 'I
will look', TA-BIT, 'you will look', Y-BIT, 'he-will look', NA-BIT,
'we will look'. In the case of HIBAT-TI, 'I looked' the middle 'I' is
now removed from *HI-BIT-TI to avoid the unpleasant I-I-I triplet.
4. Following Arabic, present-day Hebrew uses the root NBT (Nabataeans
= growers = sprouters?) also in the sense of 'bud, sprout, give off
shoots'. In this case HINBIT means 'caused to sprout'.
4. The relationship between looking, seeing, peering, peeking, and
sprouting is manifested in the word MECIC = ME-CIC, from the root
CUC (related to ZUZ), of Song 2:9.
Isaac Fried, Boston University
On Feb 26, 2007, at 7:56 PM, kenneth greifer wrote:
> My understanding is that verbs can have a hiphil form that can
> mean to
> cause to do something, but what about verbs that are always in the
> If the verb with the root letters nun bet tet means "to look", how
> someone say "to cause to look" if this verb is already in the
> hiphil form?
> Kenneth Greifer
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