[b-hebrew] The use of the Yiqtol in Isaiah 1:21

dwashbur at nyx.net dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Apr 23 00:11:36 EDT 2009



On 22 Apr 2009 at 13:37, George Athas wrote:

> Scuba diving, eh? Some of us have time to kill... ;)

Too much at times, but for the time being I'm not complaining :-D
 
> It´s the yiqtol that conveys habitual action in the past. For example,
> 1 Sam 2.19 uses a yiqtol, ????, to describe Hannah´s habit of making
> the boy Samuel a robe to wear, which she would take to him each year.
> To me, this action is realis. However, since we are not focusing on
> one particular instance of this action, our vIew of the ?ction is
> indefinite. Therefore, as far as habitual past action goes,
> ~indefiniteTM seems to fit? 

OK, I see what you mean now.  I take an approach rather similar to Galia Hatav's, in that I 
put most such uses into a kind of catch-all category "modal," which includes not only your 
"indefinite" but also future, subjunctival, etc. etc. etc.  That's one place where I differ from a 
lot of grammarians: I look for unifying factors in usages, in an attempt to find not just 
descriptive, but explanatory adequacy.  "Indefinite" seems like as good a word as any for 
this usage.  How do you see this "indefinite" function relating to other functions of the yiqtol?

Dave Washburn

On 22 Apr 2009 at 12:25, George Athas wrote:
> 
> > Dave,
> >
> > Good question. I like the realis/irrealis distinction, and often use
> > it to supplement my definitions in the classroom. The only qualm I
> > have with it is I'm not sure it adequately describes habitual action
> > in the past. Such actions are, to my mind, realis. To see them,
> > however, as indefinite, I think overcomes this problem.
> >
> > I'd be interested in your thoughts on this.
> 
> I confess there's a lot of recent discussion that I haven't been following (too focused on
> scuba diving!).  Could you expand a couple of things for me:  which form(s) do you see
> denoting habitual action in the past, and how do you define "indefinite" in the context that
> you're using it?
> 
> Dave Washburn
> 
> 
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