Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ    Attic   

Hebrew waw consecutive (was: Beijing, Zhongguo, etc)

From:David McCann <david@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 13:42
On Mon, 2008-08-18 at 09:44 +0200, Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:

> On 2008-08-18 J R wrote: > > The ubiquitous conjunction /w@/ 'and, but, > > change tense', did not undergo this change.
> A conjunction meaning 'change tense'!? > > Sounds good! You will have to explain that. :-) >
The fast-forward version is that archaic Hebrew had a verbal form in w- and later writers assumed that this prefix was the synonymous word "and". Thus wayyiktōb "he wrote (perfective)" was taken to be wa "and" plus yiktōb "he writes (imperfective)". It looked as if the conjunction was switching the aspect of the verb. The construction is known to western scholars as the waw conversive (as converting the aspect) or waw consecutive (because used in narration). This misinterpretation is why older translations of the Old Testament have so many sentences beginning with "and".


Veoler <veoler@...>