[b-hebrew] A question on the segollate words
peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Sep 27 11:08:13 EDT 2004
On 27/09/2004 12:55, VC wrote:
>>It seems very clear to me as a linguist that surface forms like MELEK
>>are a recent phonological development from underlying MALK etc.
>It seems not less clear to me that melek arose from melk (with tzere), not
>from malk. How would the patah produce e-sound?
On your theory, how would you get the possessed form malki from melk?
And how would you get the different paradigms beged > bigdi, neged >
negdi, sefer (first vowel is tsere) > sifri? The whole thing is more
complicated than you seem to realise, and can be sorted out only by a
detailed phonological study. Harold has provided some pointers to the
work on this e.g. of Coetzee.
>>Hebrew inserts a vowel and makes a compensatory change to the preceding
>>vowel, which is not found in inflected forms.
>Would you recall any instance in Hebrew when two segols arose from anything
>else than tzere-shwa? Gesenius presumes they arose from patah-shwa.
>In general, would you recall segol-compensatory shortening of any other
>sound than tzere?
Two segols more or less implies a segolate noun or adjective, so this
question becomes circular. But here is an example: yedkem, with two
tseres, from yad + -kem. Gesenius (9f) writes: "Segol... by origin
belongs sometimes to the second, but most frequently to the first vowel
class... It belongs to the first class when it is a modification of
a..." His evidence is mostly from comparisons with Arabic, but many of
these can be confirmed by comparison with a whole set of other Semitic
languages. The cognate of Hebrew 'erets has an initial a vowel in
Ugaritic, Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic, Soqotri and Mehri, which is a fairly
good indication that the "a" vowel (also found of course in many Hebrew
forms) is original and the segol a modification of it, rather than vice
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
More information about the b-hebrew