Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at
Wed Jul 31 11:03:31 EDT 2002

I wrote:
> >Are we sure that the aleph is a radical?
Trevor wrote:
> Well, if it's not, then what's it doing there?
Uh, um, hmmm.

> >How come when hu or hi is added to a word, e.g. eliahu
> >the waw is there, but not the aleph?
> This is a different word--the -yahu suffix that represents
> the divine name.
Oops, you're right. That was stupid.
> >Moreover, I don't recall any confusion in these words when they are
> >added as morphemes.
> >So, what's going on?
> You mean when we have suffixed pronouns?
Yes, why no aleph here?
And why is there no confusion with the yods and the wows?

 Correct--the distinction is
> maintained, and that's the case in the Pentateuch as much as
> anywhere else.
> (We do have confusing forms like the long -mo ending that
> seems to show up in
> poetic literature for just about anything. But I suspect
> that's a different
> issue.) And as has already been indicated, there's no
> comparative Semitic
> evidence suggesting that this was anything more than
> orthographic.
I'm sorry, what was nothing more than orthographic?

Part of the
> complication comes from the different writing stages in BH.
> For instance, we
> would have no way of knowing where confusion might have
> occurred between the
> second person singular suffixes, since both would look like
> -k. The Masoretes
> were free to point it as they felt appropriate. The problem
> comes when it
> appears that we have conflicting interpretations in the stage
> that added the
> matres and the Masoretic stage.
> Trevor Peterson
> CUA/Semitics
> --

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