Waw-conjunctive

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A conjunctive waw or vav conjunctive (Hebrew: ו' החיבור vav hakhivur) is the use of Hebrew vav (letter) as a conjunction to join two parts of speech. It is distinct from waw-consecutive which is a verb construction.

In grammar, a conjunction is a part of speech that connects words, phrases, or clauses that are called the conjuncts of the conjunctions. The term discourse marker is mostly used for conjunctions joining sentences. This definition may overlap with that of other parts of speech, so what constitutes a "conjunction" must be defined for each language. In English a given word may have several senses, being either a preposition or a conjunction depending on the syntax of the sentence. In general, a conjunction is an invariable (noninflected) grammatical particle and it may or may not stand between the items conjoined.

A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action, an occurrence, or a state of being. In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive. In many languages, verbs are inflected to encode tense, aspect, mood, and voice. A verb may also agree with the person, gender or number of some of its arguments, such as its subject, or object. Verbs have tenses: present, to indicate that an action is being carried out; past, to indicate that an action has been done; future, to indicate that an action will be done.

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Conjunction of two nouns

Primarily two nouns may be joined by conjunctive vav without equation, for example Moshe v-Aron ("Moses and Aaron"). Conjunctive vav may however indicate hendiadys where two nouns are equated. An example is found in two examples from Leviticus 25 where the nouns ger "stranger," and toshav "sojourner," are joined by conjunctive waw and usually construed as a hendiadys. However, in Numbers 35:15, each noun is accompanied by the repeated prepositional prefix lo- "to," as in "to-the stranger and (vav) to-the sojourner," which indicates two distinct concepts. [1]

Noun part of speech in grammar denoting a figurative or real thing or person

A noun is a word that functions as the name of some specific thing or set of things, such as living creatures, objects, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas. However, noun is not a semantic category, so that it cannot be characterized in terms of its meaning. Thus, actions and states of existence can also be expressed by verbs, qualities by adjectives, and places by adverbs. Linguistically, a noun is a member of a large, open part of speech whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition.

Hendiadys is a figure of speech used for emphasis—"The substitution of a conjunction for a subordination". The basic idea is to use two words linked by the conjunction "and" instead of the one modifying the other.

Conjunction of two verbs

Waw-conjunctive may also be used or omitted between two verbs. In imperative sentences such as "sit and wait" the use of the waw between the two verbs is particularly common in maskilic literature, but there are no clear cut semantic considerations regulating the use of vav conjunctive. [2]

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References

  1. Jeffrey Stackert Rewriting the Torah: literary revision in Deuteronomy and the Holiness Legislation Mohr Siebeck (9783161492983) 2007 Page 89/90 footnote "152 In these examples from Lev 25, these two nouns are connected by a conjunctive waw and are usually construed as a hendiadys; however, in Num 35:15, each noun is accompanied by the preposition l, suggesting that they are understood as distinct from each other. Toshav also appears in Lev 22: 10; 25:6, 40, 45. Gen 23 attests the unparalled.. "
  2. Lily Kahn The verbal system in late enlightenment Hebrew p271