[b-hebrew] text on the BH verb structure

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Aug 31 22:52:42 EDT 2013


On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 11:19 AM, Kimmo Huovila
<kimmo.huovila at kolumbus.fi>wrote:

> On Sat, 31 Aug 2013 18:43:05 +0200
> "Rolf" <rolf.furuli at sf-nett.no> wrote:
>> > If tense is defined as "grammaticalized location in time (Comrie)," I
> have problems with your statement: "traditional past tense (as a
> grammatical category) does not correspond exactly to the semantic past
> tense." If we accepts Comrie's definition, "semantic past tense" should
> have have read "semantic past reference. We cannot have two different kinds
> of "past tense." This is not nitpicking, but highly significant in a
> discussion of tense and aspect.
> To me the difference seems purely terminological. I am fine with your
> "semantic past reference". My point is that we should not expect 100 %
> correspondence between past reference and a past tense grammatical form
> even in tense languages.

That isn’t the question here, rather does “T” in TAM have an intrinsically
time referent definition? Or is “tense” arbitrarily applied to verbal forms
irrespective of whether or not they have a time reference? Or is it that in
one language “tense” has a time reference, and in another it doesn’t?

If I understand Nir correctly, it appears that the last of the three
sentences in the paragraph above fits the use of “tense”, to which I reply,
how can we communicate if we don’t have a common vocabulary?

> > For example, are the WAYYIQTOLs in narrative YIQTOLs with past
> reference, or do they have an intrinsic  past tense, or do they represent
> the perfective aspect?
> My point is that we need not expect all of them to have past reference or
> all of them to describe a perfective situation to say that TMA is relevant
> for the analysis of the meaning of the form.

My question is, how can TAM be used in the analysis of a language if, in
the words of Nir, it “contains MANY competing models”? To me this sounds as
if in one language “tense” refers to a temporal reference, and in another
an atemporal reference? And that’s just one of the letters in TAM?

> Kimmo Huovila

Karl W. Randolph.
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