Hebrew philology (somewhat off topic)

Trevor & Julie Peterson 06peterson at cua.edu
Sat Aug 4 22:28:36 EDT 2001


Thanks!  Any idea whether there's a distinction in Hebrew that would
parallel the philologist/linguist distinction in English?  (I'm thinking
particularly of the literary and historical emphasis in philology vs.
living, oral language emphasis in linguistics.)

Trevor Peterson
CUA/Semitics

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Charles David Isbell [mailto:cisbell at home.com]
> Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2001 10:16 PM
> To: Trevor & Julie Peterson; Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Hebrew philology (somewhat off topic)
>
>
> Tervor,
> Actually MH has specific equivalents for the words you mention:
> "philology"
> is "BaLShaNuT,"  a "linguist" is a "BaLShaN."   I am aware of three
> possibilities for their development. [a] Both are formed from the root
> B-L-Sh, "to investigate, inquire, detect" [or slang, "to snoop"].  [b] The
> prefix B- may be a short form of BeN, and this would yield a meaning like
> "son of a language" for BaLShaN [from BeN-LaShaN, if there is a shift from
> "O" to "Ah" as is known from Hebrew to Aramaic, e.g.].  [c] BaL may be a
> quickened pronunciation of Ba`aL with the L doing double duty.  Here
> Ba`aL-LaShaN would imply "master of a language."
> I would be interested if others on the list know the true
> development of the
> words BaLShaN and BaLShaNuT.
> Hope this helps,
> Charles David Isbell
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Trevor & Julie Peterson" <06peterson at cua.edu>
> To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2001 8:59 PM
> Subject: Hebrew philology (somewhat off topic)
>
>
> > Okay, I'm going to betray my ignorance of Modern Hebrew here.
> Does anyone
> > know the Hebrew equivalent(s) of "philology," "philologist," etc.?  It's
> > mainly just a curiosity.  It struck me the other day that the Semitic
> > philologist (in English-speaking environments, anyway) goes through life
> > with a Greek title.  Doesn't see quite right to me.  Anyway, I
> don't have
> > any resources handy to look up such a thing, and about the best
> I could do
> > for a makeshift translation is:
> >
> > English:  philology
> > Translit:  )aH(a)BaTDaaBaaR
> > Readable:  Ahavatdavar
> >
> > English:  philologist/philological?
> > Translit:  )ooHeeBDaaBaaR
> > Readable:  Ohevdavar
> >
> > English:  philologists
> > Translit:  )ooH(a)BeeDaaBaaR
> > Readable:  Ohavedavar
> >
> > I'm probably way off here.  It seems like the Qal act. ptc. of )HB would
> > work for both one who loves and the adjectival sense of loving DBR.  The
> > derived noun would work for love of DBR itself.  I'm not even
> sure that I
> > like DBR as an equivalent of LOGOS, but given the sense of what the
> complete
> > term is supposed to mean, I think it works.  Probably not even close to
> the
> > real term . . .
> >
> > Trevor Peterson
> > CUA/Semitics
> >
> > As in contemporary discos, so in contemporary descriptions of Canaanite
> > poetry, much is done under the cover of music that is amusing but not
> > entirely licit.  --M. O'Connor, 1978
> >
> >
> > ---
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