[b-hebrew] Tense

Rolf rolf.furuli at sf-nett.no
Fri Dec 14 01:39:58 EST 2012


Dear Jerry,

A test similar to the one you mention has been made in my Akkadian classes, or more correctly, I systematically watched and noticed how my students worked. In Akkadian we find the preterite "tense" and the present "tense." Preterite verbs often have past reference and present verbs often have present or future reference. But both conjugations can be used with past, present and future reference; therefore I put "tense" in quotation marks. 

In Akkadian texts, often it is not easy at first glance to see if the verb is preterite or present. What I noticed as a general rule, was that when the students prepared a text for the next lecture, they did not analyze each verb form, but they relied on the lexical meaning of the verb and its context. So, when a student translated a text in a past setting, the student would translate both preterit and present verbs with simple past in Norwegian. So,the context counted much more than the verb forms. The work of students, therefore, do not tell us what the meanings of the conjugations in a dead language really are.

If I saw the form  וַיֹּ֙אמֶר  without a context, I would think that most likely it occurs in a past context; but it could also occur in a present or future context.


Best regards,

Rolf Furuli
Stavern
Norway


 
 
Torsdag 13. Desember 2012 20:11 CET skrev Jerry Shepherd <jshepherd53 at gmail.com>: 
 
> Hi Karl,
> 
> Again, as I said in an earlier post, no one ever sat down and determined
> that in the Hebrew language, a wc+imperfect would equal past tense.  I
> would, however, argue that, with usage, the past tense became its primary
> function.
> 
> If I were to give my Hebrew students a test in which I simply listed 100
> wc+imperfects, chosen randomly fronm the Hebrew Bible, and asked the> students to translate them into English, and give them a past, present, or
> future time reference, if a student translated all of them using the past
> tense, then according to Rolf's statistics given in an earlier post, the
> student would score 93.1 on the exam.  I think the student would be pretty
> happy with that.
> 
> Blessings,
> 
> Jerry
> 
> Jerry Shepherd
> Taylor Seminary
> Edmonton, Alberta
> jshepherd53 at gmail.com
> 
> On Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 11:26 AM, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> > Frank:
> >
> > On Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM, Dr. Frank Matheus <post at matheus.de>wrote:
> >
> >> Dear list, ****
> >>
> >> ** **
> >>
> >> if we perceived a text comprising only of one word, e.g. וַיֹּ֙אמֶר , to
> >> which time sphere would we sort the proposition, and why would we do so?
> >>
> >
> > We would not know because this is not a grammaticalization for any time
> > sphere. It could be present, it could be future, without further context,
> > there’s no way to tell.
> >
> >>  ****
> >>
> >> ** **
> >>
> >> Frank****
> >>
> >>
> >> Karl W. Randolph.
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________> > b-hebrew mailing list
> > b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> >
> >
> 
> 
> --
 
 



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