[b-hebrew] CV syllables, was music in Hebrew
kwrandolph at email.com
Thu Feb 2 19:05:46 EST 2006
The pronunciation of modern Hebrew is irrelevant to the
discussion. All I referenced was the pronunciation I was
taught in class of Masoretic Hebrew.
What I have asked for is evidence from when everyone
can agree that Biblical Hebrew was spoken as a native
tongue, namely from before the Babylonian Exile. All I
have been given is theory, which I question, and data
from much later periods.
The evidence for Biblical Hebrew having had a CV
structure is again theory, in this case my own based on
reading Tanakh a few times through in unpointed Hebrew.
That influenced me to believe that each letter originally
stood for one consonantal sound, in contrast to the
Masoretic pointing of two sounds for some of the letters.
When read in that way, many words are unpronounceable
except as CV syllables, hence my theory.
Oh for access to a native speaker from whom we could
learn how Biblical Hebrew was actually spoken. It may
have been different from what all of us think.
Karl W. Randolph.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>
> On 2/1/06, Karl Randolph wrote:
> > I will close with what I have said all along, that I am not
> > 100% convinced that Biblical Hebrew was a CV
> > language, rather I am throwing this out as a discussion.
> > But I'm not finding convincing arguments against the
> > proposition either.
> Karl, you have yet to raise convincing arguments for the
> proposition. You also seem (from the discussion) to have
> a faulty understanding of Modern Hebrew and misconceptions
> about how it is pronounced.
> Just as an example, you mentioned:
> > But if they have only hard sounds, then there are many
> > words that would be impossible to pronounce without an
> > intervening vowel. Other evidences include letters like
> > eyin and alep, in order to be recognizable, would have
> > had to end with a vowel sound.
> I raised various questions on these statements that were
> additionally backed up by others on the list. As regarding
> the non-vowel Aleph, it occurred to me that words like Ro'$
> and Co'n are probably "segholates" derived from "ra'$" and
> "ca'n" where the short a vowel under the influence of the
> aleph became a long a vowel, and we can see this in
> Arabic and Aramaic while in Hebrew as in other Canaanite
> languages, there was the long a -> o change. A similar
> "long a"-glottal stop is (I think) in the way most Modern
> Hebrew speakers pronounce the word "$ma(tem" (you all
> heard) where the Ayin is replaced by a glottal stop, and
> even though it has no vowel afterwards it is still noticeable.
> So it seems your theory is based on misconceptions, about
> Modern Hebrew and linguistics in general, that you have not
> yet bothered to answer or correct and we have no reason to
> think that your theory is correct. After you clear up the
> misconceptions, you can set out to prove your theory. But
> you will need to provide evidence, not just sit by arguing that
> you don't like evidence for the generally accepted theory for
> any particular reason. (And try not to bring up Mosaic
> authorship of the Torah as one of those reasons this time).
> Yitzhak Sapir
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