[b-hebrew] Fw: WAYYIQTOL

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Tue Mar 9 19:00:24 EST 2004


Was Arabic widely known in Judea and Samaria 
during the Second Temple era? As far as I 
know, not.

Did Aramaic of that period have the WAYYIQTOL 
form or function? Again, as far as I know, 

Koiné Greek and Latin did not have the 

The conclusion I draw is that the major 
linguistic influences during that period were 
Aramaic, followed by Greek and, my knowledge 
is thanks to this forum, apparently Latin too. 
Hebrew was a fossil language that continued to 
be used for official records, religion and 
high literature but not fluently spoken except 
by a educated elite (though most could 
understand at least some of it). Thus the loss 
of the WAYYIQTOL form.

Another evidence of fossil use of the language 
is the fossilization of spelling during a time 
of pronunciation shift. The pronunciations 
preserved by the Masorites were not the same 
as those spoken even at the end of the Galut 
Babel. (Frozen spellings are fairly rare in 
living languages, it is only within the last 
couple of centuries that it was considered a 
mark of an educated man to have consistent 
spelling in English. Some languages have 
periodic adjustments in their written 
languages to reflect shifts in pronunciation. 
Even in English the dictatorship of 
dictionaries will come to an end.)

My conclusion is that Hebrew was not a 
natively spoken language within a few 
generations after the Galut Babel.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: Uri Hurwitz <uhurwitz at yahoo.com>

> Karl Randolph <kwrandolph at email.com> wrote, inter alia:
> "....but 
> the WAYYIQTOL form referred to a functionality 
> that was unique to Hebrew, ..."
> I'm not sure what you mean, Karl. In Arabic the imperfect often serves as the participle, or,  what is vulgarly known,  the present tense, to this day.This often follows the conjuction of the attached "F" letter, vowelled "fa", one of the Arabic equivalents to the Heb. "W", the other being  "wa" familiar to members of this list.
> However one would need an Arabist  for further elaboration.
> Uri 
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