Abstract

This paper demonstrates that by using the anterior path as a template, it is possible to order and elucidate a dominant portion of the semantic domain of the Biblical Hebrew qatal form (i.e., the perfect, perfective, and past senses) as consecutive developmental stages of the anterior path. It is also argued that the perfect values of the qatal should not be explained as a type of aspect or tense. They belong to an independent category referred to as “taxis.” By employing the definition of prototypicality in terms of frequency, the authors conclude that in the light of statistical analysis, the domain of taxis constitutes the most prototypical part of the semantic potential of the qatal in Genesis (55.7%). The recognition of the category of perfect as an independent stage on the diachronic cline and acknowledgment of its weight in the meaning of the qatal likewise makes it possible to explain a number of the other senses of the qatal.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 71-88
Launched on MUSE
2015-12-11
Open Access
No
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