Relevance Theory and the Problem of Tense-Aspect in BH

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Ben Putnam
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Relevance Theory and the Problem of Tense-Aspect in BH

Postby Ben Putnam » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:49 pm

This was an interesting read.

"Relevance Theory and the Problem of Tense-Aspect in Biblical Hebrew"
by Randall Buth

http://www.biblicallanguagecenter.com/r ... se-aspect/
Ben Putnam

matheus
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Re: Relevance Theory and the Problem of Tense-Aspect in BH

Postby matheus » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:01 am

The list members interested in the discussion of the Biblical Hebrew Verbal System might take a glance at my essay "Text and Time" in which I examen the relation of the event structure of a proposition (semantics), the speaker's intention (pragmatics), and the denotation in a text (syntax):

http://repositorium.uni-muenster.de/doc ... hblock.pdf

Frank Matheus

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Ken M. Penner
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Re: Relevance Theory and the Problem of Tense-Aspect in BH

Postby Ken M. Penner » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:51 am

matheus wrote:The list members interested in the discussion of the Biblical Hebrew Verbal System might take a glance at my essay "Text and Time" in which I examen the relation of the event structure of a proposition (semantics), the speaker's intention (pragmatics), and the denotation in a text (syntax):

Thanks for this. I will be preparing some my work on this topic for publication this spring, so your contribution to the discussion is appreciated.
Regarding your note, "The most recent article about research history (Penner 2013) does not discuss either of these works," I too regret that Joosten's and Cook's important books had not yet been published before I submitted my manuscript in January 2012.
Ken M. Penner, Ph.D.
St. Francis Xavier University

kwrandolph
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Re: Relevance Theory and the Problem of Tense-Aspect in BH

Postby kwrandolph » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:30 pm

Ben Putnam wrote:This was an interesting read.


Why is it that so many linguists insist that Biblical Hebrew must conjugate for some measure of time? Why not accept that Biblical Hebrew conjugates for neither tense nor aspect, as happens in a few other languages as well? Why not recognize that where time references are an important part of the discussion, that they’re carried by the context?

I suspect that this predilection for insisting on a time reference for Biblical Hebrew conjugations comes from the fact that the science of linguistics has its roots in Europe, where the languages conjugate for tense, and some also for aspect. Though I’ve been told that already by Mishnaic Hebrew (all I know is Biblical Hebrew) that Jewish speakers and writers treated Hebrew as a tense based language. In that they copied the Greek and Roman milieu in which they then lived.

Rolf Furuli documented for his dissertation that Biblical Hebrew has not a tense based conjugation. In the article to which you linked, Randall Buth gives just one of many reasons I claim that Biblical Hebrew has not an aspect based conjugation. Therefore I came to the conclusion that Biblical Hebrew conjugates for neither tense nor aspect, rather we must look elsewhere for the purposes of the conjugations.

In short, I think Randall Buth is wrong here.

Karl W. Randolph.

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Ken M. Penner
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Re: Relevance Theory and the Problem of Tense-Aspect in BH

Postby Ken M. Penner » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:10 pm

kwrandolph wrote:Why is it that so many linguists insist that Biblical Hebrew must conjugate for some measure of time?

How many linguists do so?
(Maybe it's because they've read Bybee, Perkins, and Pagliuca cover to cover ;) )
Ken M. Penner, Ph.D.
St. Francis Xavier University

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Kirk Lowery
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Re: Relevance Theory and the Problem of Tense-Aspect in BH

Postby Kirk Lowery » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:20 am

Ken,

Could you provide a few more bibliographical details, please? Thanks!
Kirk E. Lowery, PhD
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: Relevance Theory and the Problem of Tense-Aspect in BH

Postby Ken M. Penner » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:42 am

Kirk Lowery wrote:Could you provide a few more bibliographical details, please? Thanks!

I was referring to
Bybee, Joan, Revere Perkins, and William Pagliuca. The Evolution of Grammar: Tense, Aspect and Modality in the Languages of the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. Print.
But the following might be more directly relevant:
Bybee, Joan L., and Östen Dahl. “The Creation of Tense and Aspect Systems in the Languages of the World.” Studies in Language 13.1 (1989): 51–103. Print.
Ken M. Penner, Ph.D.
St. Francis Xavier University

kwrandolph
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Re: Relevance Theory and the Problem of Tense-Aspect in BH

Postby kwrandolph » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:26 pm

Ken M. Penner wrote:
kwrandolph wrote:Why is it that so many linguists insist that Biblical Hebrew must conjugate for some measure of time?

How many linguists do so?


Every grammar that I’ve seen concerning Biblical Hebrew has assumed that the conjugations of Qatal and Yiqtol code for either tense or aspect, or a combination of the two. None that I personally have seen say neither. Tense and aspect are two different measures of time, whereas it appears from reading that those two conjugations are timeless.

Ken M. Penner wrote:(Maybe it's because they've read Bybee, Perkins, and Pagliuca cover to cover ;) )


Well, you say that tongue-in-cheek, but they’re just two more examples of Western language speakers analyzing grammar, while, I think, unconsciously expecting time measures.

Karl W. Randolph.


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