[b-hebrew] Fw: Aramaic to them?

Ken Penner pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
Sat Mar 6 15:26:47 EST 2004

Blau probably is the main representative of the view that QH was not spoken.
His article in _Diggers at the Well_ concludes,

"The analysis of the various items in which Qumran Hebrew 
differs from biblical Hebrew has demonstrated that no proof 
exists that they reflect a spoken Hebrew dialect used by the
members of the Qumran sect. Comparison with Middle Arabic
texts shows that these deviations may as well be due to changes
that occur in literary texts written in a literary language, no
longer spoken, owing to various traditions, genres, fashions,
scribal schools, and personal inclinations. Accordingly , there is
no justification in abandoning the prevailing view, which explains
in the simplest and the most convincing way all the details, that
the main current of the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls reflects
basically the latest stage of biblical (literary) language, exposed
to the influence of the spoken vernaculars, viz. Aramaic and
some sort of Middle Hebrew , which later crystallized as Mishnaic

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Kirk [mailto:peterkirk at qaya.org] 
> Sent: March 6, 2004 8:24 AM
> To: pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
> Cc: 'Hebrew'
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Fw: Aramaic to them?
> On 06/03/2004 05:02, Ken Penner wrote:
> >Hi Peter,
> >
> >I would be interested to know what references you (or 
> others) use as the
> >basis for the view expressed below (Morag? Kutscher?). My 
> understanding is
> >that the question is very much in dispute, but if someone 
> has made a very
> >strong case, I want to make sure I include it in my dissertation.
> >
> >  
> >
> I am not using any references, I am using my own intuition as 
> a linguist 
> plus half-remembered readings of others' articles (including 
> your pilot 
> project, Ken, 
> http://socserv.socsci.mcmaster.ca/westerholm/thesis/Pilot.pdf).
> I would be very interested in any counter-arguments, from 
> those who are 
> actually aware of the differences between dead and living 
> languages. I 
> presume that the changes between BH and Mishnaic Hebrew are not in 
> dispute (although their dating may be in dispute cf. your pilot 
> project). Has anyone given evidence of analogous changes happening in 
> dead languages?
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/

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