[b-hebrew] continuum of dialects
JSpinti at Eisenbrauns.com
Tue Jan 4 09:00:41 EST 2011
Please remember that Hebrew/Aramaic/Moabite/Phoenician are all Semitic
languages. And, remember that Semitic languages are more closely related
than Indo-European languages.
Navajo is not related to any known language, so it is not at all
surprising that it didn't expand into the Indo-European languages.
In other words, your comparison to Navajo isn't a significant piece of
Marketing Director, Book Sales Division
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From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of fred burlingame
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2011 11:45 PM
To: Yigal Levin
Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] continuum of dialects
Thanks for your informative comments.
I selected 882 b.c., as a random number in the middle of the first
Your interesting remarks seem to confirm that the Israel region in 882
enjoyed a continuum of dialects, just like the egyptian region of 1982
In the former case, it appears that biblical hebrew language eased into
moabite language in the east; and eased into aramaic language in the
What about gaza or canaan language in the west?
I would also contrast (for clarification) the situation in israel 882
with arizona in 1982 a.d. In arizona, the navajo language does not ease
any of the surrounding european languages. A chasm wide and broad
the two sets of languages. An english or spanish speaker encountering
language falls off a figurative cliff of comprehension.That the hebrew
language of 882 b.c., was not unique to the israel region (unlike navajo
language in arizona 1982 a.d,) seems very significant.
On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 10:01 PM, Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
> We have enough inscriptions to show that the written language of an
> stretching from the Galilee to the Sinai in the Iron Age was close
> the language of the Bible to be considered "Hebrew". There are enough
> differences between that language and Aramaic or Phoenician to show
> those were separate languages. Many of the said inscriptions are of
> (graffiti, non-royal tombs) that would indicate that this was also the
> language spoken by the common people, although as in all languages,
> were probably differences between the spoken and written languages.
> the same inscriptions also show that: a: there were dialectical
> between regions (Samaria vs. Judah vs. Moab etc.); b: the language
> developed over time.
> So yes, various dialects of "Hebrew" were commonly spoken throughout
> and Judah around 882 BCE (why that year?), but the specific dialect
> pre-exilic books of the Bible were written in is most similar to what
> spoken in Judah towards the end of that period.
> Yigal Levin
> Ps. As you know, the line between "dialect" and "separate language" is
> hard to define, and often depends not on any objective linguistic
> but on how the users of the language see themselves. So while I might
> include Moabite as a dialect of Hebrew, I would not be surprised if
> the Moabites or the Israelites saw it that way.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of fred
> Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 4:51 AM
> To: Uzi Silber
> Cc: B-Hebrew
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] continuum of dialects
> Hello Uzi;
> the entire question is not whether hebrew was spoken, but what was the
> prevalence of the language in the region in 882 b.c., ...
> a. 1 percent of the population;
> b. 10 percent of the population;
> c. 100 percent of the population?
> or to put it another way; what was the language of the gov't; of the
> priests; of the aristocracy; of the peasants on the street; of the
> class; .... of lord & master to the servant in the home?
> fred burlingame
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
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