אִמְרִי, חִגְרִי, מִכְרִי, עִבְרִי) arise from a weakening of the characteristic vowel ŏ. They, or at least some of them, must rather be regarded with Barth (ZDMG. 1889, p. 182) as analogous to the original ĭ-imperfects. See further analogies in §§47i and 48 i; 61 b, 63 n.
[46e] The pausal form of the 2nd plur. masc. is גְּזֹֽרוּ 1 K 326; from שְׁמַע, שְׁמָ֫עוּ, &c.; similarly the 2nd sing. fem. in pause is עֲבֹ֫רִי Is 2312; even without the pause מְל֫וֹכִי Ju 910.12, Keth.; קְס֫וֹמִי 1 S 288, Keth. (cf. with this also מְלוֹכָה, &c., §48i); from שְׂמַה, שְׂמָ֫חִי Jo 221.
[46e] 3. In the 2nd plur. fem. שְׁמַ֫עַן occurs once, in Gn 423 (for שְׁמַ֫עְנָה) with loss of the ־ָה and insertion of a helping vowel, unless it is simply to be pointed שְׁמַ֫עְןָ. Also instead of the abnormal קִרְאֶן Ex 220 (for קְרֶ֫אנָה) we should perhaps read as in Ru 120 קְרֶ֫אןָ (cf. מְצֶ֫אןָ 19 and לֵ֫כְןָ 112).
[47a] 1. The persons of the Imperfect, in contradistinction to those of the Perfect, are formed by placing abbreviated forms of the personal pronoun (preformatives) before the stem, or rather before the abstract form of the stem (קְטֹל). As, however, the tone is retained on the characteristic vowel of the Stem-form, or even (as in the 2nd sing. fem. and the 3rd and 2nd plur. masc.) passes over to the afformatives, the preformatives of the Imperfect appear in a much more abbreviated form than the afformatives of the Perfect, only one consonant (י, תּ, א, נ) remaining in each form. But as this preformative combined with the
- On the use of the Semitic Perfect and Imperfect cf. 106 ff. and the literature cited in § 106. For our present purpose the following account will suffice :—The name Imperfect is here used in direct contrast to the Perfect, and is to be taken in a wider sense than in Latin and Greek grammar. The Hebrew (Semitic) Perf. denotes in general that which is concluded, completed, and past, that which has happened and has come into effect; but at the same time, also that which is represented as accomplished, even though it be continued into present time or even be actually still future. The Imperf. denotes, on the other hand, the beginning, the unfinished, and the continuing, that which is just happening, which is conceived as in process of coming to pass, and hence, also, that which is yet future; likewise also that which occurs repeatedly or in a continuous sequence in the past (Latin Imperf.). It follows from the above that the once common designation of the Imperf. as a Future emphasizes only one side of its meaning. In fact, the use of Indo-Germanic tense-names for the Semitic tenses, which was adopted by the Syrians under the influence of the Greek grammarians, and after their example by the Arabs, and finally by Jewish scholars, has involved many misconceptions. The Indo-Germanic scheme of three periods of time (past, present, and future) is entirely foreign to the Semitic tense-idea, which regards an occurrence only from the point of view of Completed or incomplete action.—In the formation of the two tenses the chief distinction is that in the Perfect the verbal stem precedes and the indication of the person is added afterwards for precision, while in the Imperf. the subject, from which the action proceeds or about which a condition is predicated, is expressed by a prefixed pronoun.