[b-hebrew] Aramaic to Hebrew language switch?
edwalkwitz at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 26 12:05:56 EDT 2010
Jacob and Laban spoke, respectively, Hebrew and Aramaic, as shown by their
naming of the witness heap in Gen. 31:47 in those two languages. However just
two generations earlier their Grandfathers, Abraham and Nahor, had presumably
spoken the same language, since they were brothers.
I'm guessing Abraham and Nahor spoke Aramaic, and when Abraham came to Caanan,
his family ended up switching to the language of Caanan, as happened in reverse
to the Jewish exiles after the Babylonian exile. This phenomonen is common; for
example Hispanic immigrants to the USA often switch to English in a generation
or two. This would also explain why Hebrew, if I have read correctly, is closer
to Ugaritic than Aramaic, which otherwise would not make sense.
I'm not highly educated in semitic languages like some of ya'll are. Does this
make sense? Any other theories?
Along with this, is there any theory of why the Caananites, who are not
ethnically semitic according to Gen. 10, nevertheless spoke a semitic language?
Did they switch over to someone else's language at some point along the way?
Thanks for your thoughts.
Ed Walkwitz, Des Moines, Iowa
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