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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621

Abstract

ALEXANDER, Andrason. Against Floccinaucinihilipilification of the counterfactual sense of the BH suffix conjugation - or an Explanation of why the "Indicative" Qatal expresses conditions, hypotheses and wishes. Old testam. essays [online]. 2013, vol.26, n.1, pp. 20-56. ISSN 2312-3621.

The present paper demonstrates that the counterfactual value displayed by the BH qatal is a rightful and logical component of the total meaning of the suffix conjugation, understood as a network of conceptually and historically connected senses. The chaining procedure built on the framework of universal paths (viz. a theory of typologically highly plausible evolutionary scenarios) enables the author to relate six specific values of the counterfactual domain (real and unreal optative, real and unreal hypothetical, as well as real and unreal conditional), and to establish their diachronic and synchronic (i.e. conceptual) arrangement. Furthermore, by employing an analogical chaining method, the entire counterfactual block is linked to the dominant indicative type of the qatal and, in particular, to its perfect, perfective and past values. The results of the article also demonstrate that - contrary to widespread opinion -the optative use of the BH qatal does not reflect a loss or omission of an original apodosis. Quite the reverse, the optative value was the initial modal meaning that the Proto-Semitic *qatal- acquired in the vicinity of the particle *law and its negative varieties: the BH optative examples are, simply then, remnants of such an ancient usage.

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