[b-hebrew] Aleph-Tav-Kof. 1 Sam 2:3
peterkirk at qaya.org
Sun Apr 3 14:10:23 EDT 2005
On 03/04/2005 18:19, Yitzhak Sapir wrote:
>seems to fit the few pieces of evidence I can seem to
>think of - Aramaic "xada" (one), Hebrew "exad" (one),
>yaxad (together/united), Arabic "waxad" (one). But this
>doesn't mean it's true. It can be totally wrong! I'm not a
While I can make some claim to be a linguist, in this case I have simply
found some data for the word meaning "one" in other Semitic languages.
There are in fact several, including classical Arabic, which have a form
starting with alef (or equivalent) or a vowel (simplified transliteration):
Modern Mandaic: ehda (~ heda)
Classical Arabic: 'axad
Ge'ez (Ethiopic): 'axadu
But the forms with initial w are found in Moroccan, Egyptian and Iraqi
Arabic: waxed/waxid, also in Sabean: wxd. And forms without the first
syllable are found in Achaemenid Aramaic: xd, Syriac: xad, Modern
Mandaic: heda (~ ehda), and Tigrinya: xada. This suggests to me that it
is unlikely that the forms with initial alef are simple extensions of
forms with initial consonant - if they are, the extension must be much
older than Hebrew or have happened independently several times.
>... It's also
>possible that "yaxad" (together) and ")exad" (one) are
>simply unrelated words, one with an alef and one with a
I would explain the above data by suggesting that these have been two
independent words which have existed alongside one another since early
Semitic times - yaxad being a variant of early Semitic waxad/waxid. But
I don't suggest two quite separate roots, rather that this was a very
early doublet, or perhaps the w- or the alef was originally a prefix.
But this must be speculative.
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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