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Aramaic Annotations: Pt.

20
© 2010 T. Michael W. Halcomb | www.MichaelHalcomb.com

1. In this installment of my Annotations, I want to deal specifically with verbs.


More to the point, I want to begin this whole discussion of verbs, which will
surely take up quite a few of the following installments of this series, by looking
at the describing and looking at different parts of the Peal pattern.
2. When I speak of the Peal pattern, I am referring to the most basic verb form in
Aramaic. Because it is basic, we expect it, in its most basic sense, to act in
relation to transitive or intransitive actions. This means that as a verb, it can
either take a Direct Object (DO) or not. In English, a verb working transitively,
that is, taking a DO looks like the following: He laughed at the cat. Here, the
verb is “laughed”, the subject of the verb is “He” and the DO is “the cat”. In a
sentence where a verb takes no DO, we might have the following: He laughed
loudly. Here, the verb is “laughed”, the subject is “He” and instead of having a
DO, we have an adverb, which is “loudly”.
• Note that in some cases, this is referred to in grammars as the G-
Stem, from the German word (Grundstamm is a German compound
word Grund + stamm = base + stem = base/basic stem).
3. Another aspect of the Peal pattern is that it is has 5 tenses, which we will look at
in turn in the next few editions of these Annotations. These tenses are: Perfect
(expresses completed action in the past), Imperfect (expresses incomplete and
perhaps ongoing action in the past), Imperative (expresses a present tense
command), Infinitive (expressed as a verbal noun) and Participle (expressed as a
verbal adverb or a verbal adjective).
4. Finally, we might note that in each of the 5 tenses of the Peal, we have
modifications. There are several clues to alert us as to which tense we are dealing
with:
i. Perfect – a suffix is added
ii. Imperfect – a prefix is added
iii. Imperative – an infix / suffix is added
iv. Infinitive – a prefix is (often) added
v. Participle – an infix is added

Each of these infixes will be discussed in the following annotations.


5. On the following page is an image I’ve created to begin helping familiarize
myself with the Peal pattern. In the next installment of these Annotations, we will
look more closely at the Perfect but for now, here’s an indicator chart to help you
with the characteristics of the Peal:
1. Infix / Suffix
2. Pres. Tense Command