Question about "paragogic he"
Are there any books or journal articles that discuss or explain the functions of the “paragogic hē” affixed to l plus qal infinitive construct, as in hc'x.r"l. (Exod 30:18), hb'r>q'l. (Exod 36:2), Hb'-ha'm.j'l. (Lev 15:32), h['b.rIl. (Lev 20:16), hq'x\r"l. (Ezek 8:6), hl'm.xul. (Ezek 16:5), etc.?
This is mentioned in Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar (§45 d). But Gesenius seems to be interested only in the forms (i.e., the “feminine forms” of the infinitive, which is “strictly speaking, independent nouns” or verbal substantives,”§45 a) and where they occur (§45 d, n.3: “According to the remark of Elias Levita on QimhÌi’s Mikhlol, ed. Rittenb., 14 a, these feminine forms occur almost exclusively in connexion with the preposition l..”) As far as I could ascertain, Gesenius does not explain or discuss the functions of these forms.
Paul T. Sato, Ph.D.
Last edited by paulsato; 04-18-2004 at 04:19 PM.
I just poked around a little, but check this site out. It seems that those who code the morphologies added a new category called feminine infin construct to better explain the heh as opposed to the paragogic marker it has now.
So unless anyone with more time or interest pokes around more it would appear that Gesenius method for accounting for the heh is coming back, which doesn't really answer your question, but is interesting nevertheless.
MDiv Student Concordia Seminary
MA Student Washington University
I don't know "why" it appears, but I can tell you that in Arabic, the G infinitive has many variant forms. (All the other stems are extremely regular and predicatable.)
The form of the G stem infinitive varies from noun to noun, and must be memorized. Several of the patterns terminate with -atun, and one pattern is qatala>qutulat, matching the historical Hebrew form of the infinitive construct (with the he ending), qutulat.
(The Hebrew infinitive construct and infinitive absolute are poorly named, since they're not actually related. The historical forms for the inf. const is qutul and the inf. abs. qatäl.)
Hope this helps somewhat...
I think you will find your answer in an essay by Ernst Jenni, published in:
Congress volume, Basel 2001 / ed. by A. Lemaire (Leiden: Brill, 2002) (Supplements to Vetus Testamentum ; vol. 92) Papers given at the 17th Congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament, held in Basel from 5 to 10 August 2001 (ISBN 90-04-12680-5)
Jenni gives an overview over the various interpretations of the functions of the paragogic he (including an essay by Steven E. Fassberg, The Lengthened Imperative, Hebrew Studies 40 (1999) page 7-13) and gives his own, convincing interpretation based on Jdg 9.