R.J. Furuli wrote:This definition is rather general, and I agree with this definition. The key words are “temporal view,” and they must be defined. Particularly important is the word “view” and its definition. In the more detailed SIL definitions, I find two basic errors. 1) The view seems to be that aspects are universal and not language-specific (=aspects are not different in different languages).
Of course not language specific, this is a functional definition, not a formal definition.
The question then becomes, does the language I’m studying conjugate for the function of aspect? For Biblical Hebrew, no.
To give another example, Russian (a language I briefly studied but have forgotten most of what I learned) does conjugate for aspect. It has past perfective, and past imperfective, present perfective, present imperfective, future perfective, future imperfective, depending on the time-related type of action. Therefore Russian conjugates for the function called “aspect”.
R.J. Furuli wrote:2) By listing different kinds of aspect, aktionsart and aspect are confused.
Sorry, but this sentence doesn’t make sense.
R.J. Furuli wrote:Below are two other definitions that may be considered:
B.M. Fanning, Verbal Aspect in New Testament Greek (1990, p. 31) shows the difference between aktionsart and aspect:
“Aktionsart involves how the action actually occurs; reflects the external objective facts of the occurrence; focuses on something outside the speaker.
“Aspect involves a way of viewing the action; reflects the subjective conception or portrayal by the speaker; focuses on the speaker’s representation of the action.”
To be blunt, this definition is weird and has no relation to standard linguistic practice.
R.J. Furuli wrote:Carlota Smith, The Parameter of Aspect (1991, p. 91) defines aspect in the following way:
“Aspectual viewpoints functions like the lens of a camera, making objects visible to the receiver. Situations are the objects on which viewpoint lenses are trained. And just as a camera lens is necessary to make an object visible for a picture, so viewpoints are necessary to make visible the situation talked about in a sentence.”
Another weird definition, that completely ignores the standard linguistic emphasis on a temporal view.
R.J. Furuli wrote:Both these authors indicate that aspect is a subjective viewpoint; compare the word “view” in the SIL definition. I think that if you ask SIL, you will get the answer that aspect is a subjective property.
I have no choice but to reject what both authors wrote, if I work in linguistics. Those statements may make grand philosophy or fancy sounding theology, but they’re not linguistics.
R.J. Furuli wrote:An example of the confusion between aktionsart and aspect is the SIL definition of “Iterative aspect": “Iterative aspect is an aspect that expresses the repetition of an event or state.” There is no such thing as an “iterative aspect.”
All standard definitions of “aspect” that I have learned from include the “iterative aspect”.
“Aktionsart” on the other hand, I never heard in a study of linguistics. I heard it plenty from theologians, almost totally from liberal theologians who don’t believe the Bible, to give reasons how they think the Bible is false.
R.J. Furuli wrote:R.J. Furuli wrote:
The difference between our understanding of aspect is that I connect aspect with the verb forms, while you connect it with functions.
K.W. Randolph answered:
Conjugation is where there is a specific form or combination of words to express a particular function. If a language doesn’t have either a specific form or combination of words to express a certain function, then it doesn’t conjugate for that function.
You used function as the standard to come to the conclusion that Biblical Hebrew doesn’t conjugate for tense.
Should you not be consistent and continue to use function when addressing the question of aspect?
Function is the way I think, so naturally I use function when addressing this question.
You have not answered my question whether the wayyiqtols, yiqtols, participles, and infinitives all are perfective, because they express completed actions in the past. It would be fine if you answered this question, so I can understand your thinking.
What are called “participles” in Hebrew are not a verbal form, rather act like the English gerunds (noun pointing to an action) or nouns referring to the actors. Translation often loses the nuances of Biblical Hebrew use and merely treats them as verbs.
Infinitives are temporally independent forms.
Yiqtols, Wayyiqtols, Qatals, Weqatals are all used sometimes to express the perfective function, sometimes the imperfective function. Therefore we cannot call any of these forms intrinsically perfective nor imperfective.
R.J. Furuli wrote:I did not use function to reach the conclusion that Hebrew verbs do not express tenses. I used form + function to reach that conclusion. If I understand you correctly, you use only function to reach the conclusion the Hebrew neither has tense nor aspect.
I look at the form, then ask “What functions are expressed using this form?” When looking at Biblical Hebrew, I found that all point time references—past, present, future—are expressed by all conjugations of Hebrew verbs. Therefore Biblical Hebrew doesn’t conjugate for tense. I also found that all conjugations of Biblical Hebrew verbs are used to express the different functions covered under “aspect”, therefore Biblical Hebrew doesn’t conjugate for aspect either.
R.J. Furuli wrote:There are two knots that must be loosened when an understanding of Hebrew verbs is sought.
1) Why are yiqtol, wayyiqtol, and weyiqtol constructed differently, and why are qatal and weqatal constructed differently?
For me the question is not why the different forms are constructed differently, rather finding that these forms exist, what are the functions that the forms convey? In studying that question, yes, there are semantic differences, but those differences are not time related, neither tense nor aspect.
R.J. Furuli wrote:2) Why are there different temporal references between wayyiqtol, yiqtol, weyiqtol, qatal, and weqatal?
I find no different temporal references between those forms. I find differences, but they’re not temporal.
R.J. Furuli wrote:Best regards,
Rolf J. Furuli
Yours, Karl W. Randolph.