[b-hebrew] Fw: Aramaic to them?

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Mar 8 00:18:18 EST 2004

It is precisely the simplification of grammatical forms and the fossilization of spelling that lead me to think that 
Hebrew had ceased to be a spoken language among the masses in the market, in the work place and at the 
hearth. Transliterations that I have seen from the Second Temple period indicate that there was a pronunciation 
shift, a pronunciation shift that was apparently consistant with Aramaic, that was not reflected in lexeme 
spellings. That is an indication of fossilization. And that the verbal forms gradually shifted away from the 
Biblical forms to parallel the usages in the writers' mother tongues is again indicative that Hebrew was a 
language used well only by an elite, and even they were not always very well versed in the language. 
Karl W. Randolph. 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org>	 
> On 05/03/2004 23:25, Karl Randolph wrote: 
> >Peter: 
> > 
> >But already in late Biblical Hebrew, in other words, those sections written after the Galut Babel, not only 
was the Hebrew simpler but it also shows the influence of Aramaic. ... 
> > 
> It is precisely these simplifications that lead to the conclusion that  
> the language was living. Mind you, I don't think they were all  
> simplifications, just changes. And I am thinking primarily of  
> grammatical forms, not loan words. The contrast with a dead language is  
> that the latter becomes frozen or fossilised, with the grammatical forms  
> of the classical language copied without gradual change. The graduation  
> classical BH - late BH - DSS Hebrew - Mishnaic Hebrew shows the kind of  
> gradual grammatical changes, e.g. in the verb system e.g. gradual loss  
> of WAYYIQTOL forms and reanalysis of YIQTOL as future, characteristic of  
> a living language rather than a fossil. 
> --  
> Peter Kirk 
> peter at qaya.org (personal) 
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work) 
> http://www.qaya.org/ 
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