Piel and Pual verbal structures, continue

Classical Hebrew morphology and syntax, aspect, linguistics, discourse analysis, and related topics
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Isaac Fried
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Piel and Pual verbal structures, continue

Postby Isaac Fried » Wed May 29, 2019 10:27 am

The popularity of the piel form seems to stem from the fact that it is easy on the ear and is thus being readily identified as a verb upon hearing the rhythmic i-e pair of vowels. Contrary to the Hifil form that carries with it an external initial Hi for היא, the PPs of Piel are all internal vowels.
Spoken Hebrew makes all newly formed verbs in the Piel, rather than in the Qal, for instance, סִמֵּס SIMES, 'texted an SMS message'.

The first i in the Piel is the PP היא for the performer of the act.

The Tsere, the two horizontal dots, in the Piel form is possibly a compromise mark for the various reading traditions heard by the naqdaniym: pial, piel and piil, with the e being a drifted and lazy i or a.
Indeed, in Lam. 2:9 we find
טָבְעוּ בָאָרֶץ שְׁעָרֶיהָ אִבַּד וְשִׁבַּר בְּרִיחֶיהָ
with a slight difference of meaning between אָבַד and אִבַּד

Assuming that the Tsere is descended from an earlier Xiriq, we are justified is seeing the Piel as actually containing two internal personal PPs, say, שִבֵּר = ש-היא-ב-היא-ר, with the first היא referring to the performer of the act שבר, and the second היא referring to the beneficiary of this act.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Isaac Fried
Posts: 1281
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: Piel and Pual verbal structures, continue

Postby Isaac Fried » Wed May 29, 2019 7:03 pm

Here is an example. זָנָב, 'tail', is a noun, but זִנֵּב, (Piel and not Qal for distinction), 'followed behind, plucked from behind', is a verb. See Josh. 10:19
וְאַתֶּם אַל תַּעֲמֹדוּ רִדְפוּ אַחֲרֵי אֹיְבֵיכֶם וְזִנַּבְתֶּם אוֹתָם
KJV: "And stay ye not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them"
NIV: "But don’t stop; pursue your enemies! Attack them from the rear"
וְזִנַּבְתֶּם = ו-ז-היא-נב-אתם with היא being the pursuers, which Joshua addresses as אתם, 'the many of you'.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Isaac Fried
Posts: 1281
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: Piel and Pual verbal structures, continue

Postby Isaac Fried » Wed May 29, 2019 9:23 pm

In Ps. 78:13-15
בָּקַע יָם וַיַּעֲבִירֵם וַיַּצֶּב מַיִם כְּמוֹ נֵד
וַיַּנְחֵם בֶּעָנָן יוֹמָם וְכָל הַלַּיְלָה בְּאוֹר אֵשׁ
יְבַקַּע צֻרִים בַּמִּדְבָּר וַיַּשְׁקְ כִּתְהֹמוֹת רַבָּה

it is בָּקַע, but in Job 28:10-11
בַּצּוּרוֹת יְאֹרִים בִּקֵּעַ וְכָל יְקָר רָאֲתָה עֵינוֹ
מִבְּכִי נְהָרוֹת חִבֵּשׁ וְתַעֲלֻמָהּ יֹצִא אוֹר

it is בִּקֵּעַ. How come? Because King David prefers the a-a staccato over the i-e legato, while Job prefers the i-e legato over a-a staccato.

Isaac Fried, Boston University


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