[b-hebrew] Perception influenced the origin of the Hebrew alphabet?
jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Thu Jan 21 20:05:27 EST 2010
I'm still missing the point. I really don't see what there is to explain.
How many perceived syllables where in the triliteral root (I presume you are
referring to the 3rd person singular Qal of each verb) is completely
irrelevant. If you feel it makes the presentation of my theory any stronger
then I will make the routinely implicit explicit for you. As surprisingly as
this may seem I believe there must have been three syllables to each 3rd
person singular Qal form of each verb. I base this conclusion as a natural
consequence of what the alphabet suggests about their perception.
The fact that even in the time of the invention of the Tiberian pointing
Hebrew syllables were still predominantly CV seems to support such a view.
As does the 'non-vocal schwa', as does consonant doubling.
The use of the Dagesh in the Tiberian pointing system seems to suggest that
vowel shortening of some syllables that eventually led to vowels being
dropped entirely that led to CVC syllables was not the only change in the
language by the time of the Massoretes. The use of the Dagesh suggests one
of two things:
either a) the inventors of the language did not perceive differences between
'b' and 'v' sounds etc.
or b) the language involved to include sounds that did not exists in the
language when the alphabet was implemented.
Also, on the note of CVC syllables. Automated syllable segmentation is a
fertile field of research in speech signal processing. Algorithms defined
with simple principles work in line with human judgements for most cases but
many syllables that we perceive as CVC CV are parsed as CV CCV by the
segmentation algorithm. I suspect that there are psycholinguisitic factors
at play which affect our perception of syllables. If in doubt, trust the
simple algorithm. Perception can be illusional.
2010/1/22 George Athas <George.Athas at moore.edu.au>
> This will be my last post on this, James.
> Hebrew works along a system of roots. It's not so much the number of
> letters in the root but rather the fact of the root system itself. As far as
> I can see, your theory doesn't seem to account for this, and yet this is the
> basic framework on which the language is built. Until you've taken it into
> account, you just won't convince me, nor will convince many others on the
> list, I suspect.
> I appreciate your efforts here, and find your discussion intriguing. But
> for me it's missing the lynchpin and, as such, doesn't work.
> GEORGE ATHAS
> Moore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
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