[b-hebrew] changes in 'th'

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Fri Apr 23 09:12:03 EDT 2004

On 23/04/2004 04:05, Trevor Peterson wrote:

>... I don't 
>see any reason to associate tet with these forms--the emphatics are common to 
>all Semitic languages, and where their pronunciation remains distinctive, it 
>is always a double articulation, in combination with either ayin or alef.
Perhaps Karl was thinking this way because Hebrew tet corresponds 
historically to Greek theta. But in classical Greek theta was an 
aspirated plosive, not a fricative. And I remember seeing some 
suggestion that in Phoenician, from which the Greek alphabet was 
borrowed, tet was aspirated rather than pharyngealised. I'm not sure how 
that could be established, except possibly from Greek or Latin 
renderings of Phoenician or Carthaginian place names or texts. But 
Hebrew tet does not seem to have been aspirated, because in LXX it is 
consistently rendered by Greek tau, whereas Hebrew tav is more commonly 
rendered by theta.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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