[b-hebrew] HITPAEL as mutual action

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Fri Apr 17 09:45:49 EDT 2009


Richard,

It would be good if you could explain to us briefly what you mean by  
the "distinctions between the middle and the reflexive". Also, what  
are the "good examples" of IBHS ?(what is this IBHS?)
I see it this way. The hitpael describes an action done by an actor  
upon himself. By virtue of this the act appears to be intentional and  
under greater control than when cast in the qal form. For example,  
saying HOLEK LA-REDET GE$EM, 'it is going to rain', means that a  
sequence of atmospheric events is set in motion that will inevitably  
result in rain. But upon reading MIT-HALEK BA-GAN, 'walking in the  
garden', of Genesis 3:8, one's imagination is triggered to "see"  
somebody deliberately and controllably leading himself up and down  
the paths of the garden.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Apr 16, 2009, at 6:07 PM, Richard Benton wrote:

> Dear George,
>
> Yes, it sounds like you see my point.  In the past, some authors have
> jumped from this observation to the idea that the Hitpael is  
> reflexive,
> but you can't make that leap necessarily.  Often languages make clear
> distinctions between the middle and the reflexive, even though they  
> are
> related.  (Slavic languages, such as Russian, do so, as well as others
> on every continent.)  Furthermore, often the middle overlaps with a
> passive function, and we see this in Biblical Hebrew.  (IBHS lists  
> some
> good examples.)
>
> Cheers,
> Richard Benton
>
> George Athas wrote:
>> Good observations, Richard. Your distinction between the Qal and  
>> Hitpael of HLK is very illuminating, and shows that the Hitpael is  
>> more interested in the subject being the host of the action (i.e.  
>> Subject is the locus where the action occurs).
>>
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> GEORGE ATHAS
>> Moore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)
>> www.moore.edu.au
>>
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