Randall Buth ButhFam at compuserve.com
Wed Dec 27 13:25:22 EST 2000

In the following question I'd recommend using 
real words 
in order to get more meaningful Hebrew. 
Then the questions might be re-asked within a better perspective 
for students learning Hebrew. I often run accross students who confuse 
abstractions for real language. Something to do with the way they learn the

irene katva
>The stem "lwn" has two meanings, "murmer" and "pass the night."
>What is the develpment of this stem?
>Do the words represent independent develpoments of same root---are they
>and homophonic?  Are there Akkadian and Aramaic cognates?

The word 
lan  -  yalin  -  lalun        ('qal pattern/stem')  
     means 'spend the night, stay' 

The word 
nalon/nillon  -  yillon  -  lehillon `al      ('nif`al pattern/stem') 
     means 'complain, murmur' 

These words are not homonyms and are kept separate in real use or
communication. (or "were kept", if one prefers historicizing speech.)  That
is a primary reality that students need to internalize.

Roots are second order derivatives, abstractions. They are not ("were not")
part of the real, funtctional semantic framework of the language but are
("were") only an undeveloped potential of the language, and/or a
non-communicative historicization (=etymology). 

Both words come from a root that can be abstracted as L-W-N, 
which raises a legitimate question on the etymologies of the above words. 

However, lan -- yalin looks like it is primarily from L-Y-N. 
and we say bat --  yevit in Aramaic [+~Arabic, too] for 'spend the night'.

Randall Buth
Chair, Hebrew Language
Jerusalem University College
Buth at jerusalemschool.org

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