[b-hebrew] aspectual binyanim

Nir cohen - Prof. Mat. nir at ccet.ufrn.br
Wed Dec 12 17:14:49 EST 2012


karl,

>> Here I’ll throw up a trial balloon expecting it to get shot down: is it
possible that Qal and Niphal were originally coding for perfective aspect, and
Piel and Pual for imperfective? If so, then would not many, many of the verbal
pointings be wrong?

the general question of aspect encoded (in isolation) in a binyan, or in 
a root, is certainly pertinent to BH. see e.g. discussions on grammatical 
vs lexical aspect. 

but i am not sure that your particular division can be justified. for 
some roots, and in some situations, PIEL may be construed as having a 
repetitive or continuous value w.r.t. its deictic center, but not 
necessarily as imperfect (i.e. relative to the point of narrative). 
thus, in this context we must redefine aspect as much more detailed 
than mere perfect-imperfect.

a pertinent question is whether a reconstructed proto-semitic, much 
older than first millenium BH, would tend to obey your rule. i dont 
know.

nir cohen


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