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יותר מבנה יחידה

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by hadronic, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    Hello, I'm currently reading a collection of short stories by Asaf Ashery (don't know if he's any famous). The style is clear and very easy to read (somewhat like le Petit Prince). But on multiple occasions, I come across constructions that seem wrong — at least, I can't make sense of it. I'm gonna keep one passage per thread.

    So here is one :
    Navi, a quite introvert kid, lost his father. About the mother :
    היא הפכה להיות אף יותר מסוגרת מבנה יחידה.

    As I understand it, מבנה is not mivne, but mi-bna (than her son), but what is that יחידה that follows ? Shouldn't it be יותר מבנה היחיד?

    Thx!
     
  2. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    now that you ask, im not sure if its indeed correct, but i can tell you if it is incorrect then everyone is making that mistake.
    to the point:
    יחידה is in the possessive suffix form here, if it were with niqqud the 'he' would have a mapiq in it, and one should put some air out to make a sound 'he' in schwa, basically you should try gasping in those cases, thats how i started doing it and now its not hard at all to make a schwa he.
    its possessed by the mother, and it emphasizes the mother, that she has only one child.
    if youd want to emphasize the child is oneling, your attempt would fit better.

    Also, bnah is in possessive suffix, the 'he' here should too be done the same as above.
     
  3. ystab Senior Member

    Hebrew
    Just wanted to add to arielipi's answer that this expression alludes to the story of the binding of Isaac, in Gen. 22, when God says to Abraham קח-נא את-בנך את-יחידך אשר-אהבת.
     
  4. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    It seems like it would have made more sense repeating the preposition: מבנה מיחידה
     
  5. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    no, because the word describes the child. i wonder why you say it? (i.e. what made you think its better that way)
     
  6. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I don't see why it matters who the word is describing. One reason I think it makes more sense is because it more closely parallels the Biblical passage ystab mentions: "את-בנך את-יחידך".
     
  7. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    I was thinking too that it should be מבנה מיחידה.
    I found many instances of that construction on the web, like היא קברה את בנה יחידה, astray from the biblical template את בנה את יחידה..
     
  8. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    but you should regard which word relates to which; i may error with the translation now, but the bnah yehida is a unit starting with the mi, it doesnt make sense to put anither mem after bnah; however, if you want to pause a bit, and describe each word by its own then its ok. i.e. מבנה, מיחידה.
     
  9. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    So how do you explain the biblical construction ?
    We perfectly know what you mean. We're just asking : how ever weird it may sound, if the Bibile says X, why don't we say X.
     
  10. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    because את doesnt parallel/equates to מ
     
  11. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Not semantically, but grammatically it does.
     
  12. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    Languages arent properly-ordered, you cant just ignore semantics. they change things.
     
  13. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Even semantically they are parallel (but not equivalent).
     
  14. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    And I already brought up an example from the web : היא קברה את בנה יחידה.
    Arielipi, how would you now explain that ?
     
  15. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    whatever you call it;- theyre just not the same. my idea to explain את, it serves as an additive of descriptions.
    את בנך את יחידך
     
  16. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    you cant say
    היא קברה מבנה יחידה
    and preserve the meaning in the first sentence; they do not deliver the same thing.
    EDIT: היא קברה מבנה יחידה would suggest she buried everyone/anyone except for her son. or that she physically/mentally buried from her son's place.
     
  17. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    You missed the point. I now have an example with את, not with מ-, and still, the את is not being repeated. Why ?
     
  18. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    the et defines the unit, if את בנך את יחידך we have two units, the order can be reversed and the words do not relate to one another but only to what came before.
    if את בנך יחידך the et wraps both words, and the words cant be reversed because they relate to each other. יחידך relates to בנך, it describes what your child is.
     
  19. ystab Senior Member

    Hebrew
    I see that there is much confusion here. Let me offer you my point of view.

    I think that when using an apposition, you can either repeat the preposition or leave it once. Repeating the preposition may put emphasis on the appositive.

    For example, compare:
    I sent a letter to Yair Lapid, the minister of finance, regarding...
    with
    I sent a letter to Yair Lapid, to the minister of finance, regarding...

    And in Hebrew:
    שלחתי מכתב ליאיר לפיד, שר האוצר, בעניין...
    לעומת
    שלחתי מכתב ליאיר לפיד, לשר האוצר, בעניין...

    Now, you may ask what about commas. Well, first, in the Bible the punctutaion is in the cantillation (Te'amim). Second, for short appositives, commas might be redundant.

    Another thing I would like to add, is that in many references to the binding of Isaac, the את is omitted, not just in Ashery's. Try googling בנך יחידך within quotation marks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  20. bazq Senior Member

    Hebrew
    Both can be found:
    "ואמר אליך שלח את את בני ויעבדני, ותמאן לשלחו, הנה אנוכי הורג את בנך בכורך" :Exodus 4 23
     
  21. arbelyoni Senior Member

    Hebrew
    There are a few more phrases with this structure:
    בנו יקירו
    אביו מולידו
    אמו הורתו
     
  22. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    Some comments in this thread seem argumentative, and with no good reason. In Hebrew (biblical as modern) one can say:

    את בנה יחידה
    את בנה את יחידה
    את בנה היחיד

    Earlier in this thread we saw nice references to the Bible, explanation of doubling the את, examples of similar expressions, etc. Some of these forms are not too productive in modern Hebrew. Their meaning is very similar, maybe minor emphasis difference.

    So isn't the issue clear?
     
  23. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    Who said the issue wasn't clear as of now? ;)
    When someone brought up a biblical example without repetition, it cleared all issues. But that example came late in the discussion.
     
  24. Albert Schlef Senior Member

    Hebrew
    (Right. As for the "minor emphasis difference": There was something I didn't write earlier because I didn't want to add unnecessary "noise" to this discussion, but maybe it won't hurt: according to some tradition, "את בנך את יחידך אשר אהבת את יצחק" is one side of a dialog and it's really interspersed by Abraham's questions (which we don't see). If there weren't "את" there, it might have been harder to imagine the pauses stemming either from being a dialog, or as a dramatic means: to give the feeling of a sentence so emotionally charged that it can't be uttered in one breath).)
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  25. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    I knew I had seen it somewhere...
    Actually in an earlier short story in that same very book, there was :
    - ! אברהם, אברהם
    - הוא לא בבית, ותפסיק לצעוק (...)
    - אז איפה הוא? מסרי לי לכשיחזור, רוצה אני את בנו, את יחידו, אשר אהב, את יצחק!
    - סליחה !!

    That time, with commas throughout :)
     

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