[b-hebrew] Question about Pi'el Imperfect of RBD

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Wed May 16 21:05:58 EDT 2007


I know that you are not listening to me, yet I will repeat what I  
said before for the possible benefit of others. You could have saved  
yourself some confusion, and have gained a good insight into the  
Pie'l structure. In my opinion.

1. Every inserted vowel (excepting A and Schwa) in the Hebrew  
language represents a personal pronoun. The Pi'el form contains two  
personal pronouns, one for the actor, and one for the beneficiary of  
the act. Thus, $IBER = $-I-B-E-R, means 'he [I] broke it [E]'. Some  
grammarians claim that the Pi'el form represents an "intensified"  
action form, namely, $IBER is 'he broke it to smithereens'. I don't  
believe this.

2. to indicate an intended act Hebrew frontally adds a fraction of  
the separate personal pronoun of the actor. For the full ANI it  
merely adds A. So A$ABER = A-$AB-E-R =  ANI-$AB-E-R, is " I will  
break it". Now that an external personal pronoun is added, one  
internal personal pronoun is dropped. Hebrew is keen on minimizing  
the number of vowels in its words.

3. Hebrew possesses also an archaic or poetical form in which the  
other internal vowel (personal pronoun) migrated to the end to form A- 
$ABR-AH. I do not see anything "cohortative" in it. It is, in my  
opinion, just a quaint ancient symmetrical form for 'I broke it'.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On May 16, 2007, at 3:05 PM, Brak wrote:

> After my last post, and reading the responses I thought that it  
> would be
> of benefit for me to whip out my old Hebrew Grammar book from  
> school and
> refresh my grammar skills.
> While doing such I ran into something confusing.
> The book I' using is "Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar" by  
> Page
> H. Kelly.
> At the bottom of page 140 it gives a table of the forms of the Pi'el
> Imperfect for both the words MF$AL and D.FBAR
> For the 1cs [first person common(mas/fem) singular] of DBR it  
> gives ):ADAB"R
> Now a the bottom of 141 is gives some textual examples of the  
> occurrence
> of the Pi'el Imperfect. The second to the last is an example of 1cs of
> DBR coming from 2 Sam. 14:15. But in this text it has the  
> word ):ADAB:RFH
> Now according to the table on 140 the form is suppose to  
> be ):ADAB"R for
> both mas and fem - but here in the text it has ):ADAB:RFH
> So what is going on here. Did the book mess up in their table on  
> 140, or
> is something else going on here?
> On thing for sure, I'm glad I decided to review my grammar!
> -- 
> B"H
> John Steven
> "If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you
> behave."
> -Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
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