[b-hebrew] Fw: WAYYIQTOL
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
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:
> 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.
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