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

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Sat Oct 10 18:45:49 EDT 2009

Karl katav
>Your answer seems to indicate that qal and piel are merely different
conjugations, similar to the -a and -e conjugations in Spanish, which, other
than form, have no intrinsic meaning. Do I read you right?>

In some senses, yes, others, no.

Any one verb in a certain binyan will have a meaning(s) 'assigned' by the
language community through their usage.
Collecting all of the piels and comparing them as a set, and comparing
them to related verbs will produce a 'field' of meanings and relationships
that broadly covers the pi``el but would not allow one to predict what a
root in a pi``el would necessarily mean.

E.g. in English we have situation-creating "-ize" verbs, like 'hospitalize'.
However, a student of English cannot buy a house and say that they are
going to 'hospitalize' it, that is, to make it into a hospital.
Hospitalization refers to putting sick people in a hospital for treatment.
Because that is how the word has been developed within the community,
though its specific meanings and limitations were not predicatable from
its root/source.

The binyanim were used by the language community to forge/create
certain usages/words. The forms of these usages were fixed by the binyanim
and the sound system/morphological system of the language. the forms are
predictable to a high degree. (E.g., shillam, not shillem [except pausal])
The meanings are specific to each situation and each verb and
are not predictable from a historical root.


Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

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