Comparative Semitic studies indicate the existence of three tvpes of "imperfect" verbal forms, each with its own function (indicative, cohortative, and apocopate, used mainly as jussive). Most scholars believe that these three types and their original functions were preserved in biblical Hebrew (with certain conflations between them). The author, however, claims that the use of each of the three forms in the Bible and in the Dead Sea Scrolls is not necessarily dependent on its original function, but is more a function of its syntactical position. The three forms tend to be used in a complementary distribution: the normal form occurs mostly in the non-initial position, while the short and long forms generally occur initially; for example: יהי נא חרב על הגזה לבדה ועל כל הארץ יהיה טל (Judg. 6:39); ואשברה מתלעות עול ומשניו אשליך טרף (Job 29:17). The rearrangement of these forms is explained as a result of mutual analogy and conflation between the conversive imperfect and the modal imperfect forms.
|Number of pages
|לשוננו: כתב-עת לחקר הלשון העברית והתחומים הסמוכים לה
|Published - 1998