Wayyiqtol - comparative Semitic, morphology, phonology
dwashbur at nyx.net
Tue Jul 18 14:18:04 EDT 2000
> So when reconstructing the semantic history of Hebrew forms, the basic
> relevant data is the attested meaning, in other languages, of forms
> which are cognate with the Hebrew forms in question. When we examine
> various conjugations in various languages with a shape somewhat like
> early Semitic *YAQTUL we discover various general "preterite" and
> "jussive" meanings in various languages -- though we don't find
> exactly the same form being used with both jussive and preterite
> meanings in the same language; instead some morphological distinction
> is made if both are present in the same language (so the Akkadian past
> IPRUS vs. "optative" LIPRUS, the Hebrew addition of waC- to the
> preterite, the Arabic addition of a prefixed _lam_ particle to the
> preterite, etc. -- Amarna Canaanite as reconstructed by Rainey has
> the appearance of being a partial exception, but this may be due to
> the fragmentary nature of the evidence).
While I admit my Akkadian leaves much to be desired, I wonder if
some of the apparent "long" forms in Amarna Canaanite don't
appear so because of the nature of Akkadian syllabic writing, i.e.
the Akkadian symbol indicated a final vowel where the Canaanite
dialect didn't have one, but the writer(s) couldn't figure out a way to
indicate this lack. What I'm trying to say in my muddled way is, I
wonder how much the writing system used for the Amarna letters
had to do with the apparent presence of these "long" forms?
[much other good stuff snipped for the sake of bandwidth]
"Éist le glór Dé."
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