prototypical meaning for qatal

zaw

Member
Arabic
Shalom,

Is the prototypical meaing of qatal the perfect and perfective? Or is it simple past or something else?

Deut 1:10:
יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֖ם הִרְבָּ֣ה אֶתְכֶ֑ם וְהִנְּכֶ֣ם הַיּ֔וֹם כְּכוֹכְבֵ֥י הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם לָרֹֽב׃
The LORD your God has multiplied you until you are today as numerous as the stars in the sky.—

but on the other hand

Deut 1:6:
הֹוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵ֛ינוּ דִּבֶּ֥ר אֵלֵ֖ינוּ בְּחֹרֵ֣ב לֵאמֹ֑ר רַב־לָכֶ֥ם שֶׁ֖בֶת בָּהָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה׃
The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying: You have stayed long enough at this mountain.

If both meanings are prototypical, which one is the original one?
 
  • Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    Those verbs are in the past tense (as modern Hebrew speakers call it) or perfect (as scholars call it). Depending on the context , they can be used like "was" or "has been".
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    It usually has a past tense meaning, and sometimes a perfective meaning. That's how I'd describe it.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    According to John A. Cook, the origin of qatal was *qatil + pronoun, and its meaning was evolving from resultative to perfect aspect in pre-Classical Hebrew, but it was only in Classical Hebrew that the perfect aspect changed into perfective aspect. Predictably enough, in Rabbinic Hebrew it became a simple past tense, and it remains so in Modern Hebrew. See the attachment, taken from Cook (2001).
     

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    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    According to John A. Cook, the origin of qatal was *qatil + pronoun, and its meaning was evolving from resultative to perfect aspect in pre-Classical Hebrew, but it was only in Classical Hebrew that the perfect aspect changed into perfective aspect. Predictably enough, in Rabbinic Hebrew it became a simple past tense, and it remains so in Modern Hebrew. See the attachment, taken from Cook (2001).

    This is not accurate. It doesn't seem that Cook has much knowledge of comparative semitic linguists, nor a real grasp of Hebrew tenses.
     
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