Curious abut "G-d"

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at mclink.it
Tue Jan 22 10:46:50 EST 2002


>Wouldn't the letters of the Tetragrammaton be YHVH, not YHWH? The third
>letter is for 'vav' if I'm not mistaken, right?
>
>
>
>Right - vav

Sorry, there's no reason to believe that this is the case. One cannot use 
the mores of modern Hebrew to say how things were pronounced in ancient 
times. vav as an ancient rendering of the sound makes little sense when 
one considers the ancient use of waw as a vowel /u/, especially in the DSS. 
This strongly indicates a bilabial liquid consonant related to the /u/, ie 
/w/, for when you make a /w/ the mouth is in the right state also to make 
the vowel sound /u/. As a /v/ is a (labio-dental) fricative, it uses a 
different mechanism to provide sound and puts the mouth in no state 
reminiscent of a /u/. Perhaps one could supply a *phonological* connection 
between waw and its vocalic use some other way, but I haven't seen it done 
and can't imagine one. 

We do have a strong analogy to the w/u relationship, when yod is used as a 
vowel yielding /i/, for when you make a /y/ the mouth is in the right state 
also to make an /i/.

waw as vav seems unjustified to me, so I'd say "wrong".

Didn't we get vav from waw after the German sound shift /w/ -> /v/?


Ian





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