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A new understanding of Hebrew verbs

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  • Rolf Furuli
    Dear list-members, Since the rules allow a short presentation of a new book, I use this opportunity to present my dissertation: Furuli, R. J. (2006) A New
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2006
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      Dear list-members,

      Since the rules allow a short presentation of a new book, I use this
      opportunity to present my dissertation: "Furuli, R. J. (2006) "A New
      Understanding of
      the Verbal System of Classical Hebrew An Attempt to Distinguish Between
      Semantic and Pragmatic Factors". Oslo: Awatu Publishers, 516 pages, 300
      Norwegian kroner.

      Some of the characteristics are:

      1) For the first time all the 79,574 finite and infinite verbs of classical
      Hebrew have been analyzed in the same study.

      2) A distinction between semantic and pragmatic factors is sought, and this
      means that quality is stressed rather than quantity. The goal has been to
      find verbs with so restricted contexts that their semantic meanings can be
      pinpointed with a reasonable amount of certainty (cf. minimal pairs).

      3) The basic tools used in the analyses have been Reichenbach´s old
      parameters (slightly redefined), the deictic center, reference time, and
      event time. Tense is viewed as the relationship between reference time and
      the deictic center and represents deictic time, while aspect is viewed as
      the
      relationship between reference time and event time and represents
      non-deictic time.

      4) The conclusions drawn on the basis of the interplay of the above
      mentioned factors in the whole corpus are that tense (grammaticalization of
      location in time) is non-existent in classical Hebrew, and that the
      conjugations represent aspects, though with a nature quite different from
      English
      and Russian aspects. Thus, it is argued that WAYYIQTOL, YIQTOL, and WEYIQTOL
      represent the imperfective aspect and QATAL and WEQATAL represent the
      perfective aspect. The functional differences between the prefix-forms are
      pragmatic and not semantic, and the same is true with the differences
      between the suffix-forms. Thus, the system of finite verbs has only two
      components and not four, which is almost universally believed.

      A three page abstract is available from awatu@.... A 21 page article
      with some of the basic points is found in Furuli, R. (2006) "The Verbal
      System of
      Classical Hebrew An Attempt to Distinguish Between Semantic and Pragmatic
      Factors" in Current Issues in the analysis of Semtic grammar and lexicon :
      Oslo-Göteborg
      cooperation 3rd-5th June 2004" (Abhandlungen für die Kunde des Morgenlandes
      56,3) pp. 205-231. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2006. I received my copy of
      this
      book today.


      Best regards,

      Rolf Furuli Ph.D
      University of Oslo
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