Charles David Isbell cisbell at
Mon Jul 29 16:32:00 EDT 2002

Dear Peter and Liz, et al,
I believe Jouon-Muraoka is correct.  All of the Semitic languages that I
know make a clear distinction between masculine and feminine singular
independent pronouns from the earliest evidence we have of them.  It would
seem passing strange for Hebrew alone to fail to make this distinction at an
earlier stage, only to add it rather consistently in later texts.  It should
also be noted that the distinction does in fact occur eleven times in the
Pentateuch itself.  If we understand the final Alef to be radical rather
than merely orthographic, presumably the pre-pointed texts would have
rendered He-Alef for both, and I think this is the spelling found in the
Mesha` inscription if memory serves.
Thus the addition of materi lectionis VAV or YOD would be LATE rather than
early.  I fail to see how any of this bears directly on the viability of the
documentary hypothesis, although I am certain the eye of the individual
beholder may discern evidence for ideas already closely held.
Charles David Isbell

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