[b-hebrew] SWAHILI HEBREW (was MI- nouns and Which reading)
randallbuth at gmail.com
Tue Jan 19 05:01:32 EST 2010
Let's try 'short' on this.
, , ,
>> one of your responses proposed:
>>> [Karl] I previously mentioned that I think Biblical Hebrew was a CV
>>> (Consonant/Vowel) language
. . .
>> [RB] Semitists know that his theory IS wrong. It
>> cannot explain the development of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Ge'ez and Arabic
>> with their rich, genetically-related morphologies that all include CVC
. . .
> [Karl] From your response, I conclude that you do not believe that the Bible is
> accurate history; in particular, the account of the Tower of Babel.>
[RB] A non sequitur. Separate language families do not deny a shared origin,
nor does a miraculously rapid language development (Babel) deny genetic
>[Karl] The only evidence you have that Hebrew was a CVC language comes from
>post-Babylonian Exile times, at a time long after when I think evidence
>indicates that the language ceased to be a mother tongue, and the
>pronunciation patterns had been imposed from another, cognate language that
>was a CVC language, namely Aramaic.>
[RB] Actually, we can reconstruct quite a bit just from spellings in
the DSS, MT,
pre-exilic ostraca/inscriptions, and Phoenician/Punic.
But more importantly, comparative linguistics allows one to investigate and
explain the changes within attested, related languages. If we only had modern
romance languages, we could still say quite a few things about Latin simply
by comparing the languages and reasonably explaining the various
developments. This is historical linguistics 101. It is regular, predictable,
phonetic and morphological change that can establish certain node points
about how an earlier language looked. This can even make 'predications' that
can be confirmed by accidental remains from the earlier periods. For example,
the three vowel system of early-Semitic languages is confirmed by Arabic,
Ugaritic, Akkadian, and even Hebrew itself when its morphology
is carefully studied. (the Masoretes did not invent a language but preserved a
non-Aramaic language that preserved ancient, pre-Masoretic features.) And
Arabic with its attested CVC patterns broke off from the NorthWest Semitic
languages before Hebrew and Aramaic separated, and long before Aramaic
was able to influence Hebrew during the Second Temple. And certainly long
before Aramaic was allegedly able to reconstruct the whole morphology of
Hebrew (something that just doesn't happen in language contact).
The CVC patterns are a shared genetic trait of these languages, not a
borrowing from Aramaic. The CVC patterns are internal to these languages
and not an external borrowing.
NO comparative Semitist can reconstruct Biblical Hebrew as a CV-only language
and be taken seriously. There is really nothing to say. It's a 'non-view'.
Someone may hold it, but one thereby exposes that one does not understand
comparative linguistics and that they have not studied regular change
Semitic languages. There is no crime in that. But one should not expect to
receive 'equal billing' with those who have. And people on an elist probably
deserve to have totally unsupported views pointed out as such. No
DaWaBaRaYa ShaQaRa. As I think I said in the past sometime, the
"Swahili Hebrew" suggestion is not biblical Hebrew.
Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
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