Biblical Hebrew: vav-consecutive before a past verb

Abaye

Senior Member
Hebrew
I should add that it is more appropriate to refer to this use of vav as "vav retentive" because it does not convert. Instead, it conveys the ORIGINAL meaning of the following verb. Remember that originally, the prefix conjugation was the past and the suffix conjugation was the future.
It would be very nice to see such kind of assertion backed-up by a reference to some resource, if possible.
 
  • Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I should add that it is more appropriate to refer to this use of vav as "vav retentive" because it does not convert. Instead, it conveys the ORIGINAL meaning of the following verb.
    Which use are you referring to?

    Remember that originally, the prefix conjugation was the past and the suffix conjugation was the future.
    This is not true by any means. The prefix conjugation original had multiple forms, one of which had a past meaning (which is the ancestor of the vav-consecutive prefix conjugation), and one of which had a non-past meaning (which is the ancestor of the non-vav-consecutive prefix conjugation). The suffix conjugation originally had a present or past perfective meaning. Note that by "originally", I am referring to a period before Biblical Hebrew (perhaps before any form of "Hebrew").
     

    Madeeha719

    Member
    Bahasa Melayu
    שמואל א א'
    (יא) וַתִּדֹּ֨ר נֶ֜דֶר וַתֹּאמַ֗ר יְהֹוָ֨ה צְבָא֜וֹת אִם־רָאֹ֥ה תִרְאֶ֣ה׀ בׇּעֳנִ֣י אֲמָתֶ֗ךָ וּזְכַרְתַּ֙נִי֙ וְלֹֽא־תִשְׁכַּ֣ח אֶת־אֲמָתֶ֔ךָ וְנָתַתָּ֥ה לַאֲמָתְךָ֖ זֶ֣רַע אֲנָשִׁ֑ים וּנְתַתִּ֤יו לַֽיהֹוָה֙ כׇּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיָּ֔יו וּמוֹרָ֖ה לֹא־יַעֲלֶ֥ה עַל־רֹאשֽׁוֹ׃

    Does the line under the second ת in וְנָתַתָּ֥ה (right next to the קמץ) indicate that the stress is on the final syllable? Is this how it is always indicated in the massoretic text in vav-consecutive + perfect verbs?
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    שמואל א א'
    (יא) וַתִּדֹּ֨ר נֶ֜דֶר וַתֹּאמַ֗ר יְהֹוָ֨ה צְבָא֜וֹת אִם־רָאֹ֥ה תִרְאֶ֣ה׀ בׇּעֳנִ֣י אֲמָתֶ֗ךָ וּזְכַרְתַּ֙נִי֙ וְלֹֽא־תִשְׁכַּ֣ח אֶת־אֲמָתֶ֔ךָ וְנָתַתָּ֥ה לַאֲמָתְךָ֖ זֶ֣רַע אֲנָשִׁ֑ים וּנְתַתִּ֤יו לַֽיהֹוָה֙ כׇּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיָּ֔יו וּמוֹרָ֖ה לֹא־יַעֲלֶ֥ה עַל־רֹאשֽׁוֹ׃

    Does the line under the second ת in וְנָתַתָּ֥ה (right next to the קמץ) indicate that the stress is on the final syllable? Is this how it is always indicated in the massoretic text in vav-consecutive + perfect verbs?

    Yes and no. The line is a cantillation mark. The cantillation mark indicates the melody for the word. There are three types of cantillation marks in terms of how they are written:

    - Those written on the stressed syllable
    - Those always written at the beginning of the word
    - Those always written at the end of the word

    Most are the first type. And even with the other two types, in many editions, the symbol is repeated on the stressed syllable to indicate where the stress is (see for example וּזְכַרְתַּ֙נִי֙ in your quote; this is the third type of symbol which is written at the end of a word, but here it is repeated on the stressed syllable).

    In short, it's a mark that indicates a particular melody, but its placement also tells you the stress of the word.
     
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