[b-hebrew] logograms--an ode to Hebrew

Vadim Cherny vadim_lv at center-tv.net
Thu Dec 23 14:12:44 EST 2004

> > But, again and again, what I see as the biggest question is that
> convention
> > of specifically three-"letter" roots predates the concept of letter. At
> the
> > time when the root length was fixed as three letters, the concept of
> letter
> > did not exist yet.
> >

> The concept of letter may not have existed, but the concept of syllable
> surely did.

Um, no. If roots were based on syllables, then we would expect to have
semantically different roots of, say, NAshk and NUshk. This doesn't happen.
There is only one nshk root.
Even though I argue for single-vowel derivation of language, by the time of
syllabic writing, there were certainly several vowels. So whoever
constructed the roots, they differentiated consonants from syllables. Common
people distilled the consonants much later.

> When the syllables are always CV or VC, it is easy to drop the Vowels.

Easy? It took how many centuries to move from syllabic to alphabetic?
Besides, the syllables are not always CV or VC

> You wind  up then with a language based first on bi-consonantal roots,
then tri, then quad.

You still does not explain why more or less "all" roots are triliteral. In
natural-derivation theory, we would expect many quadruples.

Vadim Cherny

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