[b-hebrew] Qal passives

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Mon Jun 21 02:46:27 EDT 2010

>Let me try this again. (Stupid iPhone.) What do you call the qetil
>pattern if not a Gp?
>Donald R. Vance
>> I would like to suggest that perhaps it is not an issue of phonetic
>> change, but of morphological leveling.
>> As internal Qal passives were increasingly lost,
>> especially under the influence of Aramaic that did not have them,
>> these were viewed not as a separate class by themselves but as an
>> exceptional form of the Pual and Hophal for some roots.

For YItzhaq, that is simply giving two names for the same thing, except
that the forms are not exceptional. The 'exceptional' item is that pi``el
and pu``al for the words in question did not otherwise exist. Their
resultant forms are 'regular'.

For Donald, the qetil pattern is the reflex of the qatul pattern in Hebrew.
That is, the perfect passive adjective of a qal stem, and not a verb that
is conjugated as Hebrew suffix tense and Hebrew prefix tense.
Thus, Hebrew verbs in qal patterns regularly have 'katuv'-"written" type
forms. Those are not the 'internal passive verb'. The internal passive is
the qutal//yuqtal verb form,
that is, using a 'plain/light consonantal skeleton with no consonantal
additions [n]/doubling/[h]/[hit]' along with a passive vocalization
pattern of [-u-a-]. That is attested in BH, but not in Aramaic. You are
crossing morphological lines by letting your labelling "Gp"
blur the distinction between qatul [adjective only, regular] and qutal
[conjugated verb, rare fossils].

On the other hand, within the Aramaic system, the fact that qetil
adjectives were expanded into verbs does reinforce the general
observation that the Hebrew qutal forms had nothing to do with
Aramaic, but everything to do with an organic continuity within
Hebrew and going back to cognate structures of earlier shared
language strata in Western Semitic languages.
And this observation shows
that the Masoretes were preserving an ancient feature of Hebrew,
and NOT inventing, NOR rereading, NOR anything else,
as alleged by KR's treatment of the Masoretes.
The Masoretes, and the Hebrew grammarians of the medieval period,
did not have a grammatical explanation for the *quttal verbs, but
they neither invented them, nor misread them as Aramaic.

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

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