[b-hebrew] Ancient Language Acquisition

Jonathan Walther krooger at debian.org
Mon Mar 1 21:22:58 EST 2004


On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 06:39:02PM -0500, Trevor Peterson wrote:
>can exercise, but even then there are questions of whether samples from 
>the biblical corpus represent one or several dialects. It would seem 
>counterproductive for students to internalize a conglomerate that is not 
>really any one dialect.

When I learned to read English as a lad, I did just that; I steadily
read my way backwards from Alice in Wonderland, to Howard Pyle, to
Shakespeare, to Chaucer.  Beyond Chaucer I could not go; Beowulfe feels
very familiar, but is gibberish as far as comprehension goes.  My
English is a conglomerate of all the variations and developements from
the past thousand years.  Would it be a bad thing to understand ancient
Hebrew or koine Greek in the same way?

Dialects are always forming and disappearing; is it really productive to
worry about separation of dialects when my experience of English is that
a broader view allows all dialects to be expressions of a single, rich,
underlying language?

Jonathan

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