[b-hebrew] Blau's explanation for how ultimate stress became in Hebrew
fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr
Sat Aug 7 09:48:32 EDT 2010
----- Original Message -----
From: Garth Grenache
To: fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr ; b-hebrew
Sent: Saturday, August 07, 2010 3:32 PM
Subject: RE: [b-hebrew] Blau's explanation for how ultimate stress became in
Thanks for your response, Arnaud :)
Arnaud> I wrote this little paper you may find interesting:
I'll to have a read :)
Garth> Blau shows pretonic lengthening came between stages iii and iv.
> i.e. the forms produced by the move of stress to the last syllable (stage
> iv), have propretonic lengthening instead of pretonic lengthening.
Arnaud> I find it hard to believe that an unaccented vowel could be
> This is unheard of.
In a word such as Ka:-t:-BAH, pausal Ka:-TA:-bah (Arabic katabat),
I think you would agree, Arnaud, that the first vowel was once short, and
yet it has become long (qamets gadol).
If only accented vowels can be lengthened,
do you propose that it was this antepenultimate vowel of katabat that was
accented at the time of this lengthening,
and that subsequently the stress moved to the penult (Blau's stress stage
ii), where it remained in the pausal form,
before finally moving to the ultima (Blau's stress stage iv), as found in
Is that what you are suggesting, Arnaud? Or do you have another proposal?
I seriously doubt that the root k_t_b is old and of Proto-Semitic dating.
So maybe it would make more sense to discuss a root or a word or a form that
has significant chances of being inherited and of Proto-Semitic dating.
I have also thought that perhaps the common penultimate lengthening was due
to penultimate stress, but obviously the above is not an example of
penultimate stress if this theory is correct.
Blau's theory is indeed that the pretonic syllable was often lengthened, but
he explains it as brought about by pressure from Aramaic to reduce the
pretonic syllable. It is thus not exactly a natural phonetic change, but
perhaps more of a forced one, perhaps as when I spell out to a child that
"dinə̯saur" is really phonemically "DI-NO-SAUR". I give the -no- syllable a
long vowel in spelling it out, though in common speech it is reduced.
This word <dinosaur> is completely artificial.
It proves nothing.
It's not even a true Greek word.
How can you dare infer anything out of that pseudo-"word"?
The timing of this supposed pretonic lengthening is as Hebrew is becoming
more of a literary language, and Aramaic becoming more of the dominant
Garth Grenache, Australia.
What that lengthening proves is that the language must have had **real**
accent on the so-called "pre-tonic" syllable.
The real position of the accent is completely mis-construed in the first
place in that utterly nonsensical phonological theory.
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