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

James Read J.Read-2 at sms.ed.ac.uk
Thu Jul 9 04:42:28 EDT 2009


Hi Rolf,

Quoting Rolf Furuli <furuli at online.no>:

> Dear James,
>
> See my comments below.
>
>
>>
>>
>>> In order to find examples where the perfective aspect portrays
>>> actions that are ongoing, and where the end is not reached, you can
>>> only use the perfect participle - he has stood.
>
>
> I am sorry but I am not following your reasoning.
> Please consider a) and b). We agree that from 8
> until 12 the state of standing held as in (a),
> and from 8 until 12 the action of working
> continued,
>   as in (b). But remember that the aspects are not
> concerned with what actually happened, but they
> make visible *a part* of what actually happened.
> How long E lasted, and whether the person also
> "stood" after 12 o´clock is irrelevant. The point
> is that R intersects E at the coda (at 12
> o`clock). Therefore, c)  and d) are  odd and
> ungrammatical.
>
> a) From 8 o´clock this morning until 12 he has stood on his feet.
>
> b) From 8 o´clock this morning until 12 he has worked.

These two sentences are both ungrammatical. If 8 o'clock and 12  
o'clock this morning are past references then English requires the use  
of the simple past i.e. 'he stood' and 'he worked'.

>
> c) While he from 8 o´clock this morning until 12
> has stood on his feet, his daughter was born.
>
> d) While he from 8 o´clock this morning until 12
> has worked, his daughter was born.
>
>

OK. These examples don't work because of your use of the while clause.  
But if you wish to use the while clause we can find similar patterns  
of overriding behaviour. We agree that the normal use is of sentences  
such as:

1) While he was standing in the corner his baby was born
2) While he was working in Chicago his baby was born

However, what happens if we wish to convey the same sense with the  
verbs 'have', 'be' and 'know'. A rigid adherence to the above  
grammatical structure would produce the following sentences:

3) While he was being in the corner his baby was born
4) While he was still knowing his wife his baby was born
5) While he was having this gmail account his baby was born

However, these sentences are odd. The correct versions are:

6) While he was in the corner his baby was born
7) While he still knew his wife his baby was born
8) While he had this gmail account his baby was born

The verbs 'be', 'have' and 'know' do not behave in the same way as the  
majority of verbs. You can ask any native speaker and they will verify  
(while they may not be consciously aware of it) that these verbs  
behave differently.

James Christian



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