[b-hebrew] words with the same root letters: XCC-N TMR
fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr
Wed Jan 12 15:02:25 EST 2011
From: JimStinehart at aol.com
1. You wrote: “…an affricate [ts]…should be rendered by Samekh which was
also an affricate [ts] at that time. Tsade means that this word cannot be
Scholars have varying opinions about that. Richard Steiner is famous for
arguing that Hebrew tsade was an affricate in ancient times:
“Other works on Hebrew phonology include Cardona (1968) on the historical
development of the tsade and Steiner (1977), who discussed the case for
fricative laterals in Proto-Semitic. Steiner (1983) argues that the
affricate pronunciation of tsade in Hebrew and Aramaic is not a late
Ashkenazic development but is an ancient variant of the fricative [s]
pronunciation….” Nahum M. Waldman, “The Recent Study of Hebrew” (1989), at
I would readily agree on this hypothesis about Proto-Semitic and early
In the dozens of Hurrian names that appear in the Patriarchal narratives,
This is not an argument but your hypothesis, which you cannot circularly use
as an argument, not until it's proved.
C/tsade is sometimes used, but S/Samekh is never used even a single time.
Chapter 14 of Genesis is often considered to be older than most of the rest
of the Bible, so it is possible that its author used early Hebrew C/tsade to
record a Hurrian affricate,
It's not possible phonetically.
If the word is originally Hurrian, then it cannot contain any emphatics, as
stated before several times. Period.
even if other Biblical authors, centuries later, might not have used C/tsade
in that way. Moreover, Gelb and Purves at p. 6 of “Nuzi Personal Names”
refer to “the interchange of tsade and z values”. One of your
transliterations of xa-tsi-tsi is xa-zi-zi, with Z, and per Gelb and Purves,
Hurrian Z could interchange with tsade.
ok, they indeed write that at the bottom of p.6.
But there is still a general methodological problem with your approach.
You keep confusing graphic issues with phonetic issues.
Basically your claim is that because Cuneiform is a rather approximative
system that does not provide a clear-cut distinction between ts, dz and
tsade which are laxly written as z, which is a graphic issue about
Cuneiform, then we should accept that a real phoneme [ts] (allegedly in
Hurrian) would be laxly rendered and written as tsade in Hebrew, when it is
clear that Hebrew is written in a precise alphabet, that would never write a
non-emphatic phoneme with an emphatic letter. To put it short, your
reasoning is completely flawed. The situation about Cuneiform being
approximative has nothing to do with that of Hebrew where the alphabet
provides a precise phonetic grid for consonants.
2. The Hurrian suffix –nni would be spelled –N in Biblical Hebrew. Doubled
consonants in Hurrian routinely are represented by a single consonant in
Hebrew in the Patriarchal narratives.
this is not an argument but your unproved hypothesis.
3. The Hurrians focused on the number nine in their primeval mythology.
Here’s a snippet:
The Hurrian primeval myth “‘Kingship in Heaven’ begins with the reign of
Alalu in heaven; after nine years, he was overthrown by Anu (Sky) and went
down to the "dark earth"; Anu ruled for nine years and then was attacked by
Kumarbi and fled to the sky….” Richard S. Caldwell, “The Origin of the
Gods” (1993), at p. 82.
I'll check that issue more extensively.
Accordingly, the Hurrian culture may be the only culture where the following
city name would make sense: “Wisdom-the Nine”. The Hurrians’ “wisdom”
concerning primeval matters centered on the number “nine”. The expected
spelling of “Wisdom-the Nine” in Hurrian is xa-tsi-tsi-ni tam-ri. The early
Biblical Hebrew rendering of that Hurrian city name would, subject to the
open question of how to represent a Hurrian affricate in early Hebrew, be
expected to be XCC-N TMR, which is exactly what we see at Genesis 14: 7,
Consonants hardly match and the situation is even worse for vowels, not to
speak about syntax as we discussed before.
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