A transitive verb takes a direct object. In Hebrew, this object is preceded by the word es. But there is a caveat to be entered. Transitive verbs come in two kinds. Crudely speaking, a transitive verb represents an action taken in regard to an object. Now, sometimes, quite often actually, this object (its existence) antedates the action taken, as represented by the verb. However, in other instances, the object is brought into being by this action; it did not exist previously. Now, if we look around, we find that it is not in all instances that the direct object of a transitive verb is, in the Torah, preceded by es. Often it is; but sometimes it isn’t. What accounts for this? Without yet explaining it, I want to suggest that the situation bifurcates itself with whether the object of the verb in question is being brought into existence by the the action represented by the verb or it is not being brought into being but, already existing, is merely acted upon. In the letter case, there occurs an es; in the former one, not. It is as if the es implied that there was something there for the designated action to operate upon.
In the one case, the act of naming is conceived as merely specifying. The child is conceived of as inherently having a name; the mother (in this instance) does something to it, by specifying its identity. It is as if the name per se had preexisted. All that was needed was for it to be called something or other. It could be called any of a number of things. Whatever it is called, it remains the child’s name, something (a name) which the child had all along. It is as if an as yet unnamed child already had a name (which awaits being called something)! Perhaps the idea is that the name a child is ultimately given is one it had had all along – existing initially in an inchoate or undisclosed state. The act of naming merely crystallizes it or reveals it. In any event, in the other case, though, a name is thought of as something brought into existence through the act of naming.
It would be interesting to see if this theory is borne out. If it is, it will then turn out that es is withheld not only in connection with objects that reference things first being brought into being but, as well, with objects representing preexistent things whose contours have not, however, been (adequately) fully defined – and whose definitions therefore await elaboration from the very contexts in which these objects appear.
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In philosophical anthropology we hear it said that language creates things, or that it at least creates properties of things. What properties a thing is seen as having is, it is maintained, a function of human interest. Man conceptualizes to suit his needs; consequently, untold (latent) aspects of things go unnoticed. They are unnoticed, because man has not (as yet) found any use for the thing in question under the aspect in question, a use that draws attention to it and gives it the status of an (identifiable, recognizable) aspect. This being so, the need to have a word corresponding to such an “aspect” does not arise. Thus it is that language creates features. In keeping with this, it is further said that different cultures employ different languages, having differing powers of conceptualization. Some languages make room for this-and-that aspect; others do not. What you see is therefore a function of the language you speak – the culture to which you belong. This is familiar philosophy.
Perhaps this is the idea behind the absence versus the presence of es of which I have been speaking.