[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Uncancellable meaning and Hebrew verbs

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Jul 7 01:58:11 EDT 2009


First the lesser important issue:

> Karl, I have not been "weird" on dialect as you claim. All I've asked is
> that you treat it as a linguistic system, nothing "weird" about that. I
> assume you're own dialect you treat as a system, so why not someone
> else's dialect? You make these snide comments without backing them up.
> It's not very nice at all.

I don’t care about being nice, just accurate.

My view of dialectal use comes from my international upbringing. Any
regional usages that differ from or even contradict international use
are to be treated in the same manner as cognate language use, not
evidence for or against any particular use within standard,
international English. For you to argue otherwise, per your argument
concerning “plod”, is weird.

Now to the main subject:

I am coming to the view that the Qatal and Yiqtol were not only
tenseless, but also aspectless conjugations. In other words, they did
not have a time element. Any time element would be brought in by the
context, not the conjugation.

Now if your explanation of Rolf’s definition is accurate as per page
69, then it can be argued that the use of the Yiktol in Genesis 12:1
deals with an action that has progressive action (speaking takes a
span of time to be accomplished) and that this is a close up view.
This is by definition. The proof of the definition is found elsewhere.
That this is part of narrative describing what happened in the past
does not change its progressive, close-up view.

This particular example is not specific enough to contradict Rolf’s
thesis. In order to disprove his thesis, you need to find examples
where a Yiqtol is used in a context where a progressive, close-up view
can’t be defended.

What Rolf has done is not ignore your demands, rather brought out
examples that he claims supports the “by definition” mentioned above.
The example of Genesis 12:1 is not specific enough either to defend or
detract from “by definition”.

I happen not to agree with that definition, but while you argue that
you disagree with it, you have not provided evidence to disprove it.
Your argument from dialect has fallen flat. As far as I can tell,
everyone on this list disagrees with you on that argument. What you
need to do is to apply his definition in contexts where there is no
question as the definition doesn’t fit. This you have not done.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 6:35 PM, David Kummerow<farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Karl,
> Here's Rolf's definitions (p.69):
> "The imperfective aspect is a close-up view of a small section of the
> event where the progressive action is made visible. The perfective
> aspect is a view, as if from some distance, of a great part of, or of
> the whole of the event, where the progressive action is not made visible."
> He explains:
> "While the end is not the final decisive factor in Hebrew as it is in
> English, it is important, because in most cases the imperfective aspect
> makes visi-ble a small section before the end, and the perfective aspect
> includes the end. Because the area of focus of the imperfective aspect
> is so small, we will not expect that it includes both the beginning and
> the end, and if it includes the end of an event, it does not include the
> end of the resulting state. Because the focus of the perfective aspect
> is so broad, in most in-stances it includes the end of the event.
> Therefore the end is also important for the Hebrew aspects, but is in no
> way decisive."
> His definitions are so elastic that he can even say on p.438 that
> perfective and imperfective aspect is "not mutually exclusive" and that
> "if an overall picture [in any given context] is enough, different forms
> can be used with the same meaning" (p. 460)! To me, this just shows that
> the definitions are inappropriate. But when it comes down to actual
> details of the text, even these elastic definitions don't always work
> either -- wayyo'mer in Gen 12:1 being an example, which Rolf has so far
> dodged in showing how this can be taken as imperfective.
> "The perfective looks at the situation from the outside, without
> necessarily distinguishing any of the internal structure of the
> situation, whereas the imperfective looks at the situation from inside,
> and as such is crucially concerned with the internal structure of the
> situation."
> Now, please show me how wayyo'mer in Gen 12:1 is imperfective.
> Regards,
> David Kummerow.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list