[b-hebrew] cancellable dynamicity

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 20:56:16 EDT 2009

On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 1:54 AM, K Randolph wrote:

> Yes it does. Here it is unfortunate that we are using grammatical
> terms derived from Indo-European languages, as there is a misfit
> between how the term applies to Into-European languages, and how it
> does not fit Biblical Hebrew use. Even a fairly cursory view of
> Biblical Hebrew shows that many of the “nouns” used in the Bible are,
> according to their form, verbal “participles”. One example I gave is
> “spokesperson” Genesis 42:23.

No, Karl.  They are participles.  You may call them "nouns" but their
view in Hebrew is consistent throughout.  It's not that in one place they
are used as verbs and in another as nouns.  In all places they are used
as participles, and in so doing, express functions of both grammatical
classes.  You may need, in order to conform to English syntax,
grammar, or usage, to choose one particular grammatical function
in translation -- as you are doing in "melic" above, but this limitation
means that the translation loses part of the original Hebrew meaning
which carries both of these functions with it in all uses.  To take a
different participle in Gen 42:23, $m( could be translated either as
"and they didn't know that Joseph is listening" or "and they didn't
know that Joseph is a listener."  The Hebrew unites both translations
and is really not either/or, but both of them at once.

Yitzhak Sapir

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