[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Uncancellable meaning and Hebrew verbs
J.Read-2 at sms.ed.ac.uk
Tue Jul 7 08:53:28 EDT 2009
I've made it clear on several occasions that what I feel is the
salient point of Rolf's study is that his statistics show that both
tense and aspect are cancellable to hebrew verbs. You seem to concur
with this point.
Rolf's study also attempts to answer the question of 'If there is an
uncancellable meaning to Hebrew verbs, what is it?'. As both tense and
aspect have been shown to be cancellable Rolf provides very specific
definitions of two groups of verbs which he chooses to call
'imperfect' and 'perfect'. Perhaps we should call them something else
and simply list their qualities (as Rolf has already listed in a post
addressed to me).
As you observe the two groups are not mutually exclusive. 'Perfect'
*can* make both the beginning and end visible but is not required to
do so. This allows for overlap with what Rolf has called the
'imperfect' group. Unless you are willing to engage with Rolf's
definitions it is impossible to discuss this objectively.
You continue to challenge Rolf to show how Genesis 12:1 is imperfect
and not perfect and yet acknowledge that Rolf's definition allows for
overlap between 'perfect' and 'imperfect'. This makes no sense on any
You also continue to refuse to offer a concrete definition of your use
of the terms. All it would take is a few lines of text to make it
clear to us how you understand and use these terms.
Just to set you straight, I am undecided if their is an uncancellable
meaning to the BH verb system. But if there is an uncancellable
meaning then I am unaware of any other work than Rolf's that accounts
so well for what that is. However, my real opinion is that I still
hold a number of reservations because:
a) We have no informants who can help us conclude the discussion
b) There is simply not enough data
c) Only a small percentage of the data we have allows for a complete analysis
d) The possibility exists that certain verbs allow for exceptions for
semantic reasons (e.g. like 'think' in English)
You should therefore view my questions as aids to help you make your
criticisms more concrete and academically acceptable rather than
assuming I am against your position. How could I be against your
position when you still have not defined it properly?
In summary, I am (as yet) undecided but as it stands Rolf has shown a
higher level of academic practice in his style of presentation and has
succeeded in answering the question he posed (If the BH verb system
has an uncancellable meaning, what is it?). You may have some good
points to make but are losing the attention of many list members by
your refusal to engage in good academic practice.
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