[b-hebrew] Aviv and Exodus 9:31
kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Jan 20 18:09:15 EST 2010
On Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 6:56 AM, Stoney Breyer <
stoneyb at touchwoodcreative.com> wrote:
> My objection is methodological. Your original assertion was that "loss of
> the Hebrew names for the months is one of the evidences that the Jews who
> returned from Babylon had already adopted Aramaic as the language of the
> market and hearth." If I encountered this in a dissertation I was directing
> I would tell the dissertanda that the sentence could not stand unless she:
Fair enough. But in return, I ask you to take into account the context which
this statement was given, namely that of an online discussion group, not a
dissertation. Were I to give it in a dissertation, I expect I would devote a
whole chapter to it, researching many examples to back it up.
> a) Established a general rule that month-names are more conservative -that
> is, resistant to lexical change- than other linguistic elements
Without having done the research as mentioned above, I don’t think the names
individually are more resistant to change. But when a whole unit of several
linguistic elements are exchanged en masse, then I think a greater meaning
can be looked for to explain that exchange.
> b) Established that Hebrew names were in fact lost, as opposed to
> i) previously non-existent (which is, I believe, the position Yigal
> initially put forward), or
> ii) co-existent but absent from the extremely limited textual record
The month of )BYB is mentioned several times in a manner that can be taken
as a month name, but disputed by the Karaites. But when I found three other
months named, I then looked for extra-Biblical sources to see if the whole
calendar was recorded elsewhere. The closest I found were the Phoenician
calendar names, but even they seemed to be in a different order than the
Biblical names preserved in Tanakh.
Only a limited number of the months were designated by either name or number
in Tanakh. So what we have is that the names existed, but were absent from
the extremely limited textual record, hence lost.
> c) Established that alternative causes were not operative, such causes to
> i) actual calendar change
This is a point of contention. The claim is made that there was no calendar
change, so I, as a hypothesis, am working from that claim. Seeing as new
years now comes on what was the seventh month, indicates that the claim,
hence the working hypothesis, may be false.
> ii) conformity with higher-prestige usage
I have yet to fine one example of such. All the examples I have seen, and
all those presented in this discussion so far, have been actual calendar
> iii) polyglossia
That does not explain the exchange within a language, excepting actual
Here I need to make a note of Charlemagne’s month names: if I’m not
mistaken, Charlemagne at the same time was imposing the Latin based
international calendar on his people, but with different names. But other
Germans adopted the same calendar with Germanized Latin names. Over time,
the second group became dominant.
> Absent these demonstrations, the most you can say about the month-names is
> that they are consistent with linguistic shift, not that they are evidence
> of linguistic shift.
Taken in isolation, just the exchange of month names means little. I
understand it in the context of other clues.
> And by the way, I did supply you with "replacement names [in an] unchanged
> calendar within an unchanged language", videlicet the supersession in
> Standard Modern German of the Carolingian month-names by Latinizing names.
> Stoney Breyer
> Writer/Touchwood Creative
> I didn’t know you are in the market of evaluating dissertations.
Karl W. Randolph.
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