vav - waw

kymsabq kymsabq at
Sat Aug 18 09:03:47 EDT 2001

Thank you to all that replied to my inquiry regarding vav and waw.

After researching the issue, it is obvious that nobody knows for certain and that assumptions are being made regarding the waw/vav based upon the Arabic, while Hebrew is not Arabic, although it is related.  Who is to say that Israeli Hebrew is not pronounced alike to Biblical Hebrew, as Israeli Hebrew and Arabic both exist now and the vav used in Israeli Hebrew stands in spite of the waw or w utilized in Arabic? As well, since Israeli Hebrew obviously has some living roots, would not an argument for the vav being the Biblical use based upon this avenue of thought hold as much or more validity and credibility than conjecture on vav - waw based upon Arabic?  I suppose that someone could contend that Arabic originally used a hard v, but over time it was softened.  That would be as plausible a statement as anything I've yet read or heard regarding the link between Biblical Hebrew and Arabic, but most certainly would not make the statement TRUE.

Until it is proved (perhaps by the audio recordings that Søren wrote of <smile>) that Biblical Hebrew employed a sound from a different language, as Arabic is not Hebrew, I am of the mind that the Israeli Hebrew pronunciation must be based upon a living thread of spoken Hebrew which utilized a hard v sound.  At least my point of view has the validity of actually being utilized by millions of people, whereas the waw/w point of view has no basis in Hebrew at all, and is based upon a totally different, but related language that may have even changed over time on it's own. 

According to the logic utilized in the point of view that Biblical Hebrew utilized the waw/w sound of modern Arabic, it could be also said that since zebras currently have stripes then past generations of horses must have had stripes, since they are related.

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