[b-hebrew] Piel or "stative usage of verb"

Gerry Folbre gfolbreiii at gmail.com
Thu Oct 8 20:25:13 EDT 2009


Randall wrote:



“This appears to unintentionally promote an etymological fallacy about
pi``el.

the distinguishing mark of a "pi``el" verb in a Semitic language is not its
semantic context but its phonetic shape. It is the vowel-consonant pattern
the marks the word, and if the writing system doesn't show that,
-- well, that's too bad.”



According to Robert K. Logan, “The first proto-alphabetic scripts ... had no
provisions for vowels or vocalization.  Reading a script correctly was a
matter of good guesswork guided by context” (The Alphabet Effect, pg. 38)

Paleo Hebrew and New Aramaic Hebrew were both written without vowels and
vocalization points prior to the Masoretic Texts {sixth to the ninth
centuries AD).  When the vowel points and vocalization marks of the
Masoretic Hebrew Tanakh are removed, the reading text, Qare’, ceases to
exist, leaving us only the ancient Kethib {consonantal} text.  Therefore,
reading the Hebrew Kethib {consonantal} text correctly would be a matter of
“good guesswork guided by context.”

Do you not agree?

Gerry Folbre


On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 1:47 PM, Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com> wrote:

> vayyixtov Gerry
> >In these two examples the intensive Pi’el verb conjugation appears to make
> >sense; Pr. 4:26 “Always {intensively} make smooth” and Pr. 5:21 “are
> surely
> >made level/smooth”.
> >
> >The context of the verses themselves appears to direct the verb פלס to be
> >accepted as the intensive Pi’el.
>
> This appears to unintentionally promote an etymological fallacy about
> pi``el.
>
> the distinguishing mark of a "pi``el" verb in a Semitic language is not its
> semantic context but its phonetic shape. It is the vowel-consonant pattern
> the marks the word, and if the writing system doesn't show that,
> -- well, that's too bad.
>
> When a person speaks Arabic,
> or Hebrew, or Aramaic, a verb's binyan is recognized by its phonetic shape,
> not by it's subjective "intensivity". And when a written unvocalized
> text is read
> out loud by a competent speaker/reader, one hears the correct vowels in the
> correct places. how does one read
>  מה בקשת ma biqqash-ta?
> As a pi``el   because that is what the verb is.
> There is no option to read a qal pattern.
>
> Thus, an alleged intensive context does not make p.l.s. a pi``el
> as opposed to another binyan,   but its internal identity.
> Did a qal or hif`il ever exist in the history of the language?
> If not, then t.p.l.s. should/would be read as a pi``el   tefalles.
>
> If two different words/usages are known to exist,
> like mana 'counted' and
> minna 'appointed',
> then the context would help someone to read and to correctly vocalize an
> ambigous written form.
>
> But to say that a context seems 'intensive', therefore the verb "appears"
> to
> be a pi``el is not the way that Hebrew or any Semitic language works.
>
> E.g., if vaydabber referred to a person replying timidly, or speaking
> softly,
> the verb vaydabber 'and he spoke' remains a pi``el because that is what the
> word is. It does not change binyan from pi``el because of the lack of
> the intensity
> in its context !
>
> and the reverse of this is that it is incorrect to argue that a
> context is intense,
> therefore the verb is a pi``el.
>
> braxot le-Hag sameaH
> Randall Buth
>
> --
> Randall Buth, PhD
> www.biblicalulpan.org
> randallbuth at gmail.com
> Biblical Language Center
> Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life
>



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