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

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Jul 7 13:15:14 EDT 2009


Right now I cannot say that you are right or that you are wrong.

I question whether or not the Biblical Hebrew verbal conjugation
system had a time element at all. Even your modified aspectual system
still retains a time element. That’s what I question. I could be

As I previously admitted, before joining this list, I had given very
little thought to Biblical Hebrew grammar, concentrating on lexical

For example, before Randall Buth joined with his question, I had never
considered the grammar for simple, declarative statements concerning
ongoing events. As far as I have seen so far, he’s right that the
Yiqtol is not used for those sentences. However, his conclusion that
the noun/pronoun plus participle is the default construction for those
sentences is belied by the finding that at least one such sentence has
that construction referring to the future and that the Qatal is often
used for present, ongoing events. The Yiqtol seems to be used for
optitative, subjunctive, interrogative and other such uses.

Like you, when I studied Hebrew in class, I was taught that the Hebrew
conjugation system necessarily includes time; whether tense as in
modern Israeli or aspect with its completed, point time action vs.
incompleted, continuing time action. One of the nice things about
being largely self-taught is that I don’t have to argue with experts,
rather I can deal with the text directly without that distraction, but
it also means that I could be very wrong.

Thanks again for resending your definitions.

Karl W. Randolph.

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