[B-Greek] transcription to Greek from semitic languages - caseendings, hebraisti

Ken Penner pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
Fri Jun 20 10:23:06 EDT 2003


> would we expect the Greek word "Gabbatha" to have Greek 
> grammatical structure, in terms of its case ending ?

Al Lukaszewski initiated a similar thread in September last year, asking why
Sabbatos was brought over to Greek as an inflected word, and others (Abba)
were not. You may wish to check the B-Greek archives. Particularly
interesting to me are the words SABBATA, SIKERA, and PASXA. Al was wondering
if it made a difference who was doing the borrowing: a native Greek speaker
or a native Semitic speaker. I also wonder if the time the word was
introduced makes a difference (early Hellenistic or Roman period).

A good starting point is Blass-Debrunner-Funk's sections entitled "On the
Transliteration of Foreign Words: Semitic Words" (36-40) and "Declension of
Foreign Words" (53-58), but see also section 141(3). An introduction or
grammar of the LXX could help here, too, maybe someone else has a more
specific pointer in this direction?

What we would need, to answer this question is a list of all etymologically
Hebrew/Aramaic words in Greek texts, together with a the date each word was
first brought into Greek. Does anyone know of something along these lines?
Hatch and Redpath's Supplement on proper names would be a start, I suppose.

Ken Penner, M.C.S. (Biblical Languages, Greek Focus), M.A. (Hebrew Poetry)
Ph.D. (cand.), McMaster University
pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
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