Schultens and Michaelis have postulated a connection between Hebrew ha¯ya¯h and Arabic hawa¯, 'to blow/ fall'. This analysis, adopted by Bottcher and Palache but largely rejected in scholarship, can be buttressed by a significant number of cases in which ha¯ya¯h interchanges with verbs of motion, for example, 'to fall' (Deut 13:10/Gen 37:22; Num 24:2/Judg 14:6; Isa 9:7; Ezek 11:5; Exod 19:16/Dan 4:28). Moreover, the view that ha¯ya¯h serves to indicate tense only is undermined by instances in which it appears in parallelism with a verbless clause (Gen 29:17). Hence it seems preferable to analyse the locative/existential use of this verb, in accordance with the insights of cognitive linguistics, as a bleached metaphor (Abblassung): 'to fall' > 'to occur' > 'to be' (also as copula). This conclusion is supported by the consideration of a large number of languages in which the existential/locative meaning of certain verbs likewise results from bleaching of verbs of motion (note English 'accident', 'incident' < Latin cado, 'to fall'; 'event' < venio, 'to come'; German Zufall; English 'to fall/turn out'). Thus the meaning potential of ha¯ya¯h constitutes an interval extending from 'to fall' to 'to be', but always connoting momentum and eclat. The function of wayyehi¯ as narrative marker also fits the syntactic role of motion verbs.