Identifying stative verbs - maybe a difference between Basics of biblical hebrew/BBH and Groves Wheeler

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Jemoh66
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Re: Identifying stative verbs - maybe a difference between Basics of biblical hebrew/BBH and Groves Wheeler

Postby Jemoh66 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:11 pm

ralph wrote:interesting, jonathan..

if we take a root like mem waw taw the verb "die"

I guess mem waw taw and yud chaf lamed, are always stative 'cos in english one could always replace "he died" with he is/was/became dead. likewise with able.. So stative verbs seem to be a type of passive and with a passive verb, they have a subject and no object..

I guess that one is always stative as such a verb can always be replaced by "is/became [whatever]"

But are there any stative verbs in hebrew that can be used non-statively? And if so then does it have different vowels when used non-statively?

And I guess sometimes they have a corresponding adjective and sometimes not?

thanks

Ralph Zak

Here's a great verse for מות.
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר שִׁמְשֹׁ֗ון תָּמֹ֣ות נַפְשִׁי֮ עִם־פְּלִשְׁתִּים֒ וַיֵּ֣ט בְּכֹ֔חַ וַיִּפֹּ֤ל הַבַּ֙יִת֙ עַל־הַסְּרָנִ֔ים וְעַל־כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אֲשֶׁר־בֹּ֑ו וַיִּהְי֤וּ הַמֵּתִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הֵמִ֣ית בְּמֹותֹ֔ו רַבִּ֕ים מֵאֲשֶׁ֥ר הֵמִ֖ית בְּחַיָּֽיו׃—Judges 16:30

תָּמֹ֣ות - stative
וַיִּפֹּ֤ל - stative
הֵמִ֣ית - causative, active. Literally cause to die, thus translated kill.

This sentence is pervasively hebraic in the way it uses the root מות 5 times in one statement.
You're right about מות, it is stative only, but the BH speaker had in his linguistic toolbox the Hiphil binyan, which allowed him to turn this stative root into a causative, changing the meaning from die to kill. Furthermore, if the speaker/writer wishes to omit the killer, he has the hophal at his disposal, was caused to die.
Jonathan E Mohler
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kwrandolph
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Re: Identifying stative verbs - maybe a difference between Basics of biblical hebrew/BBH and Groves Wheeler

Postby kwrandolph » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:05 pm

Jonathan:

“Stative” as I understand it, refers to a type of stasis, the opposite of dynamic.

Then I look at your example of “grow”, both examples are of change, dynamism, the opposite of stasis. (I looked up the definition of “stative” in a dictionary, and it specifically mentioned “grow” as an example of a non-stative verb.)

In your second example of “play”, your second sentence “He plays the guitar” is imperfective. I previously asked if the stative were imperfective, and I don’t remember an answer. Again this refers to a dynamic action, not stasis. But this is an action that takes place over a period of time.

“He burned the house down”
“The house burned down”

Both sentences refer to the same action, the same dynamic change. In Hebrew the first sentence would be causative השריף את הבית while the second passive נשרף הבית. Is “stative” passive?

Jonathan, before I can agree with you concerning “stative”, I have to understand what exactly you mean by the term. Your examples have dynamic actions being “stative”, passives being “stative”, imperfective of dynamic actions being “stative”, what else?

Karl W. Randolph.

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Re: Identifying stative verbs - maybe a difference between Basics of biblical hebrew/BBH and Groves Wheeler

Postby S_Walch » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:12 am

Karl:

Yes, 'stative' does indeed indicate a 'stasis', in that in the case of a verb, there is no more acting going on with how the verb is used.

Compare these two:

a) I have two sisters
b) We're having a party

Both use the verb 'to have'; a) is most definitely stative (there's no more 'having' going on), b) is dynamic ('having' is continuing, as the party has yet to start/finish).

Also note that I've used a verb that is chiefly categorised as being 'stative' in nature, yet still can have a dynamic function. The same holds true for supposedly non-stative verbs.

In the case of 'He plays the guitar', plays is not imperfective, as it is describing a stative state of a person:

I play the guitar = 'play' is a stative state - I'm not currently in the midst of playing the guitar, but I do play the guitar.
I am playing the guitar = 'playing' is most certainly dynamic, as it indicates a progressive action.

With regards to 'passive'; no, stative is not just another term for passive, like in the following example:

War erupted in 1939.

'Erupted' is a dynamic usage of the passive ; it is not 'stative' as it indicates action or change; in the above example the 'change' was going from non-war, to war.

I'm not quite sure how else this can be explained so it's clear =/
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Re: Identifying stative verbs - maybe a difference between Basics of biblical hebrew/BBH and Groves Wheeler

Postby kwrandolph » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:20 am

S_Walch wrote:Karl:

Yes, 'stative' does indeed indicate a 'stasis', in that in the case of a verb, there is no more acting going on with how the verb is used.

Compare these two:

a) I have two sisters
b) We're having a party

Both use the verb 'to have'; a) is most definitely stative (there's no more 'having' going on), b) is dynamic ('having' is continuing, as the party has yet to start/finish).


OK, I can see your argument here.

S_Walch wrote:Also note that I've used a verb that is chiefly categorised as being 'stative' in nature, yet still can have a dynamic function. The same holds true for supposedly non-stative verbs.

In the case of 'He plays the guitar', plays is not imperfective, as it is describing a stative state of a person:

I play the guitar = 'play' is a stative state - I'm not currently in the midst of playing the guitar, but I do play the guitar.
I am playing the guitar = 'playing' is most certainly dynamic, as it indicates a progressive action.


I don’t see your argument here, unless you mean that the stative also applies to the imperfective aspect of dynamic action.

Looking at the SIL definitions of imperfective aspect, one of the definitions of imperfective aspect is intermittent action, not necessarily what is going on now. “He goes to work in the factory” refers to a dynamic action that is intermittent, not continuous. It is just as true when spoken of a person who is at that time on vacation in a cabin in the woods.

If you amend your statement to say “He used to play the guitar” that refers to a different type of imperfective aspect, namely the cessation of an intermittent dynamic action.

This brings us back to your first example above, “We’re having a party” is also imperfective aspect in that it refers to an ongoing dynamic activity.

So “stative” sometimes refers to imperfective aspect, sometimes not? How do you decide?

S_Walch wrote:With regards to 'passive'; no, stative is not just another term for passive, like in the following example:

War erupted in 1939.

'Erupted' is a dynamic usage of the passive ; it is not 'stative' as it indicates action or change; in the above example the 'change' was going from non-war, to war.


I agree that here the passive indicates a dynamic change.

S_Walch wrote:I'm not quite sure how else this can be explained so it's clear =/


What no one so far has done is to give a clear definition as to how to recognize a stative with examples that back it up. So far the examples, with the exception of your first one above, have been arbitrary and contradictory. This suggests to me that the whole idea of a stative verb is not clear, and that in different languages refers to different actions.

As for Biblical Hebrew, if what I noticed is accurate, the Piel and Pual are used for imperfective aspect. For possessives, there’s no verbal use at all, so “I have two sisters” comes out as לי שתי אחות. Does that not suggest that perhaps the whole idea of stative verbs in Biblical Hebrew is an invention of modern grammarians? That what they call “stative verbs” are in reality no more than adjectives?

Just my 2¢.

Karl W. Randolph.

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Re: Identifying stative verbs - maybe a difference between Basics of biblical hebrew/BBH and Groves Wheeler

Postby Schubert » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:00 pm

kwrandolph wrote:
S_Walch wrote:With regards to 'passive'; no, stative is not just another term for passive, like in the following example:

War erupted in 1939.

'Erupted' is a dynamic usage of the passive ; it is not 'stative' as it indicates action or change; in the above example the 'change' was going from non-war, to war.


I agree that here the passive indicates a dynamic change.

...
What no one so far has done is to give a clear definition as to how to recognize a stative with examples that back it up..... This suggests to me that the whole idea of a stative verb is not clear, and that in different languages refers to different actions.

As for Biblical Hebrew, if what I noticed is accurate, the Piel and Pual are used for imperfective aspect. For possessives, there’s no verbal use at all, so “I have two sisters” comes out as לי שתי אחות. Does that not suggest that perhaps the whole idea of stative verbs in Biblical Hebrew is an invention of modern grammarians? That what they call “stative verbs” are in reality no more than adjectives?


Several of Karl's comments provide a useful jumping off point for comments I've been thinking about making.

I agree with Karl's comment that there are real difficulties in defining what is a stative verb, apart from saying simply that it describes a state. A good example of this difficulty is Steve's example about playing a guitar:
I play the guitar = 'play' is a stative state - I'm not currently in the midst of playing the guitar, but I do play the guitar.
I am playing the guitar = 'playing' is most certainly dynamic, as it indicates a progressive action.


When I say that I play the piano, I am very much thinking about the physical and mental action of playing. I am not merely describing the state that I'm not currently in the midst of playing but that I do play.

I believe part of the difficulty is that what is in the mind of the speaker/writer cannot necessarily be conveyed in the words and syntax of a sentence such as "I play the piano". So it could perhaps be merely a state that I am able to play the piano or it may be a much more active statement that I do physically play the piano. (Or to use another example, is "I am very much thinking about..." stative, and "I think about..." dynamic/active?)

What about the example: The sun shines. From one perspective, "shines" is a very dynamic and active verb. From another perspective, I suppose it could be viewed as describing the state of shining.

As an aside, it was interesting to see in a table in one of the earlier posts setting out examples in English, Swedish and German that the stative examples were all intransitive verbs – not transitive verbs with direct objects. It would be tempting, although I believe incorrect, merely to say that the "modern" category of stative verbs is really the category of intransitive verbs with a new name tag.

This takes me to another point. Much of the discussion in this thread has dealt with trying to identify what is a stative verb. This raises, however, the question what is the purpose of identifying stative verbs within the context of Biblical Hebrew. Other than recognizing that the vowel pointing varies from the norm in a relatively small number of verbs which describe states, is there any other purpose? I ask this question sincerely as there are others with much more expertise in BH than I have.
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Re: Identifying stative verbs - maybe a difference between Basics of biblical hebrew/BBH and Groves Wheeler

Postby Jemoh66 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:33 am

Schubert wrote:
kwrandolph wrote:
S_Walch wrote:With regards to 'passive'; no, stative is not just another term for passive, like in the following example:

War erupted in 1939.

'Erupted' is a dynamic usage of the passive ; it is not 'stative' as it indicates action or change; in the above example the 'change' was going from non-war, to war.


I agree that here the passive indicates a dynamic change.

Yes, it is dynamic. In this case a stative version of this would be in my mind, War has erupted. This would describe a state. i.e. We are now at war. Although, this is the natural effect of a Present Perfect. Present Perfect is an amazing tool for English speakers. You simply cannot convey this in say French. (Don't know, but suspect other Latin languages are the same).

Schubert wrote:...
What no one so far has done is to give a clear definition as to how to recognize a stative with examples that back it up..... This suggests to me that the whole idea of a stative verb is not clear, and that in different languages refers to different actions.

Preliminary attempt at a definition: not active, not passive. I'll elaborate later. For now I'll briefly say this:
S1 I set the statue on the porch. Active
S2 The statue was set on the porch by me. Passive
S3 The statue now sits on the porch. Not active, not passive.

S4 He was consumed by worms. Passive
S5 He was consumed with rage. Stative
S6 He was eaten up with worms. Stative
Schubert wrote:...
This suggests to me that the whole idea of a stative verb is not clear, and that in different languages refers to different actions.

A guarded yes. Take an example from Swahili:
Swahili uses suffixes to convey the passive, the causative, and the stative.
Take the verb kula, to eat.
Active— ni (1P Subject Agreement Marker) na (cont pres infix) kula --> ninakula. (Hope everyone can stand Swahili 101).
Causative— ni-na-li (vowel change and dropped ku- inf) -sha (Caus Suf) --> ninalisha, I am causing to eat, I am feeding
Passive— i (it) - na - li - wa (pass suf) --> inakuliwa, it is eaten (by someone), more precisely it is being eaten ...
Stative— i - na - kuli - ka (stative suf) --> inakulika, it is eaten, i.e. it is edible

Another use of the stative in Swahili is in the movement verbs toka, leave and fika, arrive. In the mind of a Swahili speaker the following construction conveys a state. Nimefika, I have arrived. Nimetoka, I have left. These constructions are not concerned with the dynamic part of the leaving or arriving, but with the state of having arrived/left.


Schubert wrote:
kwrandolph wrote:As for Biblical Hebrew, if what I noticed is accurate, the Piel and Pual are used for imperfective aspect. For possessives, there’s no verbal use at all, so “I have two sisters” comes out as לי שתי אחות. Does that not suggest that perhaps the whole idea of stative verbs in Biblical Hebrew is an invention of modern grammarians? That what they call “stative verbs” are in reality no more than adjectives?


Several of Karl's comments provide a useful jumping off point for comments I've been thinking about making.

I agree with Karl's comment that there are real difficulties in defining what is a stative verb, apart from saying simply that it describes a state.

Yes, I prefer to say state-like. It's fuzzier, just like language.
Schubert wrote: A good example of this difficulty is Steve's example about playing a guitar:
I play the guitar = 'play' is a stative state - I'm not currently in the midst of playing the guitar, but I do play the guitar.
I am playing the guitar = 'playing' is most certainly dynamic, as it indicates a progressive action.


When I say that I play the piano, I am very much thinking about the physical and mental action of playing. I am not merely describing the state that I'm not currently in the midst of playing but that I do play.

Problem is, I as a hearer would not, unless you added context to the phrase. We used this phrase because without context it's a good example of how a verb that is otherwise active can with usage be stative. So sure if you told your story in a way that I could feel that what you were saying was dynamic, then it would be dynamic. But if you use it to mean, I am a piano player, or I know how to play the piano, or I am able to play; all these are stative notions, and can be expressed by the phrase I play the piano. The notion of stativeness is not fuzzy. It's the usage of language that is fuzzy, and requires context and agreement between speaker and hearer.

Schubert wrote:I believe part of the difficulty is that what is in the mind of the speaker/writer cannot necessarily be conveyed in the words and syntax of a sentence such as "I play the piano". So it could perhaps be merely a state that I am able to play the piano or it may be a much more active statement that I do physically play the piano. (Or to use another example, is "I am very much thinking about..." stative, and "I think about..." dynamic/active?)

I would agree with this. A kind of variegated stativeness. Categories as well as a cline of more or less stative.

Schubert wrote:What about the example: The sun shines. From one perspective, "shines" is a very dynamic and active verb. From another perspective, I suppose it could be viewed as describing the state of shining.

See, this is why I love linguistics. A shining moment in the discussion. haha

Schubert wrote:As an aside, it was interesting to see in a table in one of the earlier posts setting out examples in English, Swedish and German that the stative examples were all intransitive verbs – not transitive verbs with direct objects. It would be tempting, although I believe incorrect, merely to say that the "modern" category of stative verbs is really the category of intransitive verbs with a new name tag.

I think a verb that is semantically stative would tend to be intransitive. But as we have seen you can take a transitive active verb, and in the right context make the whole phrase stative. Idioms do this often: that takes the cake. Native speakers are sovereign over language.

Schubert wrote:This takes me to another point. Much of the discussion in this thread has dealt with trying to identify what is a stative verb. This raises, however, the question what is the purpose of identifying stative verbs within the context of Biblical Hebrew. Other than recognizing that the vowel pointing varies from the norm in a relatively small number of verbs which describe states, is there any other purpose? I ask this question sincerely as there are others with much more expertise in BH than I have.


It is important, because it effects how a translator understands certain causative constructions. In a past discussion I pointed out a particular root was stative, and as a hiphil it meant cause to be ... I think it was kaved, to be heavy. As a hiphil it meant cause to be heavy. As a hophal it would be to be caused to be heavy. The passive of a causative of a stative root. This idea a stativeness is at the heart of understanding the nuances in the God-Moses-Pharaoh narrative. In the narrative we find several synonyms for harden/stiffen, moreover we find the author using actives, passives, statives, and causatives (including hophal, passive causative). What he is doing through his choice of phrasing is difficult to ascertain.
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Re: Identifying stative verbs - maybe a difference between Basics of biblical hebrew/BBH and Groves Wheeler

Postby Jemoh66 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:54 am

kwrandolph wrote:Jonathan:

“Stative” as I understand it, refers to a type of stasis, the opposite of dynamic.

Then I look at your example of “grow”, both examples are of change, dynamism, the opposite of stasis. (I looked up the definition of “stative” in a dictionary, and it specifically mentioned “grow” as an example of a non-stative verb.)

In your second example of “play”, your second sentence “He plays the guitar” is imperfective. I previously asked if the stative were imperfective, and I don’t remember an answer. Again this refers to a dynamic action, not stasis. But this is an action that takes place over a period of time.

“He burned the house down”
“The house burned down”

Both sentences refer to the same action, the same dynamic change. In Hebrew the first sentence would be causative השריף את הבית while the second passive נשרף הבית. Is “stative” passive?

Jonathan, before I can agree with you concerning “stative”, I have to understand what exactly you mean by the term. Your examples have dynamic actions being “stative”, passives being “stative”, imperfective of dynamic actions being “stative”, what else?

Karl W. Randolph.

I got to thinking about this one Karl. A stative use of burn would be more like. The sun shines, a candle burns. By the way do Americans not say burnt anymore. I've always said, he burnt the house down; the house burnt down. Anyway, I still maintain that The house burned down is neither active nor passive. But yes it is different from a candle burns
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Re: Identifying stative verbs - maybe a difference between Basics of biblical hebrew/BBH and Groves Wheeler

Postby kwrandolph » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:17 pm

Jemoh66 wrote:I got to thinking about this one Karl. A stative use of burn would be more like. The sun shines, a candle burns. By the way do Americans not say burnt anymore. I've always said, he burnt the house down; the house burnt down. Anyway, I still maintain that The house burned down is neither active nor passive. But yes it is different from a candle burns


You don’t believe that the sun shining is not dynamic? Have you ever been in a desert on a hot day? One can feel the pressure of the sunlight beating against the skin, heating it up. How is that dynamic action stasis?

And a candle when it burns doesn’t result in dynamic change? First there’s the flame reacting to every small breath that impinges on it, that everyone notices, the thin curl of smoke dancing above the flame, the candle itself gradually shrinking as the wax is consumed, etc. That’s stasis? Certainly doesn’t sound like that to me.

When I see you labeling dynamic actions as “stative”, is “stative” even a legitimate category?

Since this is a discussion of Biblical Hebrew, can you give any verses that contain verbs that you claim are stative, and do not refer to dynamic actions? And yes, they need to be recognizable as stative verbs in an unpointed text.

Karl W. Randolph.

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Re: Identifying stative verbs - maybe a difference between Basics of biblical hebrew/BBH and Groves Wheeler

Postby kwrandolph » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:14 am

Jemoh66 wrote:Yes, it is dynamic. In this case a stative version of this would be in my mind, War has erupted.


“War has erupted” is a type of imperfective aspect of a dynamic action. How is that stative?

Jemoh66 wrote:This would describe a state. i.e. We are now at war.


Previously I wrote that the only stative verb that I recognized is “to be”. The sentence “We are now at war” the verb is “to be” (conjugated), “We” the subject, and “now at war” an adjectival phrase.

Jemoh66 wrote:
Schubert wrote:...
What no one so far has done is to give a clear definition as to how to recognize a stative with examples that back it up..... This suggests to me that the whole idea of a stative verb is not clear, and that in different languages refers to different actions.

Preliminary attempt at a definition: not active, not passive. I'll elaborate later. For now I'll briefly say this:
S1 I set the statue on the porch. Active
S2 The statue was set on the porch by me. Passive
S3 The statue now sits on the porch. Not active, not passive.


This is something that is specific to English, where the word “sits” can be replaced by “is”. Here we deal with an inanimate object that is, not acting.

Are the similar uses of verbs in Hebrew, and that can be recognized in an unpointed text?

Jemoh66"S5 He was consumed with rage. Stative[/quote]

How is this stative? The person has acted to make himself enraged. That’s dynamic action.

[quote="Jemoh66 wrote:
… Stative— i - na - kuli - ka (stative suf) --> inakulika, it is eaten, i.e. it is edible


Again we find the verb “to be” followed by an adjective in English.

How much of your understanding of “stative” is influenced by Swahili?

Jemoh66 wrote:Another use of the stative in Swahili is in the movement verbs toka, leave and fika, arrive. In the mind of a Swahili speaker the following construction conveys a state. Nimefika, I have arrived. Nimetoka, I have left. These constructions are not concerned with the dynamic part of the leaving or arriving, but with the state of having arrived/left.


For some strange reason, in both French and German, verbs of motion have their perfect form conjugated with “to be”. “Je suis parti” ”Ich bin augegangen”. Native speakers of both languages recognize that that construct refers to a dynamic action, not a state.

What’s the understanding of a native Swahili speaker?

Jemoh66 wrote:
Schubert wrote:I agree with Karl's comment that there are real difficulties in defining what is a stative verb, apart from saying simply that it describes a state.

Yes, I prefer to say state-like. It's fuzzier, just like language.
Schubert wrote:When I say that I play the piano, I am very much thinking about the physical and mental action of playing. I am not merely describing the state that I'm not currently in the midst of playing but that I do play.

Problem is, I as a hearer would not, unless you added context to the phrase. We used this phrase because without context it's a good example of how a verb that is otherwise active can with usage be stative. So sure if you told your story in a way that I could feel that what you were saying was dynamic, then it would be dynamic. But if you use it to mean, I am a piano player, or I know how to play the piano, or I am able to play; all these are stative notions, and can be expressed by the phrase I play the piano. The notion of stativeness is not fuzzy. It's the usage of language that is fuzzy, and requires context and agreement between speaker and hearer.


Now you’ve really gotten fuzzy—the existence or non-existence of a stative depends on how a person thinks? Does that mean that a verb can be both active and stative at the same time? Doesn’t that seem to negate the whole idea of a stative verb other than uses parallel to “to be”?

When a person says “I play the piano” and there’s not a piano is sight, the understanding I have is of the dynamic periodic sitting down before a piano and tickling the ivories. Imperfective aspect of a dynamic action.

Do you realize that when you claim that recognizing a stative verb is subjective understanding of the speaker and hearer, that you have negated the stative verb as an objective semantic category?

Jemoh66 wrote:
Schubert wrote:This takes me to another point. Much of the discussion in this thread has dealt with trying to identify what is a stative verb. This raises, however, the question what is the purpose of identifying stative verbs within the context of Biblical Hebrew. Other than recognizing that the vowel pointing varies from the norm in a relatively small number of verbs which describe states, is there any other purpose? I ask this question sincerely as there are others with much more expertise in BH than I have.


It is important, because it effects how a translator understands certain causative constructions. In a past discussion I pointed out a particular root was stative, and as a hiphil it meant cause to be ... I think it was kaved, to be heavy. As a hiphil it meant cause to be heavy. As a hophal it would be to be caused to be heavy. The passive of a causative of a stative root. This idea a stativeness is at the heart of understanding the nuances in the God-Moses-Pharaoh narrative. In the narrative we find several synonyms for harden/stiffen, moreover we find the author using actives, passives, statives, and causatives (including hophal, passive causative). What he is doing through his choice of phrasing is difficult to ascertain.


This is exactly where the rubber meets the road.

There are a few background issues:

1) The Masoretic points do not reflect Biblical era pronunciation. A thousand years of no native speakers caused the pronunciations to change.

2) The Masoretes did not speak Biblical Hebrew.

3) The Masoretes’ native tongue was Aramaic.

4) The Hebrew the Masoretes knew was Tiberian Hebrew, a language whose grammar and many vocabulary items differed from Biblical Hebrew.

5) The Masoretes invented the vowel points, but the pronunciations the vowel points recorded are from Tiberian Hebrew.

6) The points recorded by the Masoretes reflect the understanding of the text through the lens of Tiberian Hebrew, rather than a thorough going understanding of Biblical Hebrew.

7) Therefore, many times the points are wrong as far as Biblical Hebrew understanding is concerned.

With these as a background, we cannot use the Masoretic points as proof of anything, rather we need to rely solely on the consonantal text as proof.

For example, in the early chapters of Exodus, concerning the uses of the word קבד, you see states, I see change of states; you see stasis, I see dynamic action. We both look at the same text, but the way we think leads to a very different understanding of the text. By your own admission that recognition of “stative verbs” is based on a person’s subjective way of thinking, you cannot say that my not recognizing stasis in that narrative is wrong, nor that your understanding is right.

How do you know that the “stative verbs” in Tanakh are correctly pointed? If someone were to read the text without points, would he even recognize them? How many “stative verbs” are just incorrectly pointed adjectives in verbless clauses (where the understood verb is “to be”)?

Karl W. Randolph.

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Re: Identifying stative verbs - maybe a difference between Basics of biblical hebrew/BBH and Groves Wheeler

Postby Jason Hare » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:12 pm

Karl,

When you wrote קבד just above, did you mean כבד?

What pronunciation system do you use when you read Hebrew out loud? Do you pronounce words out loud? Or, do you somehow just read them as a bunch of consonants strung together with vowels in between as you randomly choose? Do you speak modern Hebrew? If not, where did you learn to read Hebrew without vowels? Do you actually have vowels on words in your mind that you read when you pronounce the words? I'm so confused by the system you propose. It seems utterly chaotic and unwieldy. I don't know how you could pass such a system on to new students of the language.

It's one thing to say that the vowel system is imperfect (which I agree with). However, when it comes to pedagogy, we must have a sensible system for introducing English speakers to Hebrew words and structures, if they are to learn anything at all. We must utilize the vowel system as it is, whether we make amendments to it or accept it completely, and from there give students our conclusions in comparison to what is found in the traditional text.

That is, I would teach קָדֹשׁ qāḏōš as a vocabulary word and teach a self-consistent system of pronunciation. I personally use the modern Hebrew system of pronunciation (since I speak modern Hebrew), but someone could change the specific pronunciation of, say, the kamats over against the patach (etc.). How do you teach students to read Hebrew without any vowels from the very beginning?

I mean, in the Bible, we often find words written defectively (without matres lectionis), which leads to many words appearing simply as their root letters. How do you get students to recognize the difference between, say, קדש as qiddēš ("he sanctified"), qāḏōš ("holy, sacred [thing]"), qāḏēš ("shrine prostitute"), and the several other forms that are represented with just these three root letters? You must give them somewhere to begin.

I have for many years wondered at your approach to reading the Bible. Only as I get older do I find it simply untenable for teaching those who do not know Hebrew to become acquainted and comfortable with the Hebrew language.
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel


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