[b-hebrew] Fw: WAYYIQTOL
kwrandolph at email.com
Wed Mar 10 14:00:41 EST 2004
What I rejected was not Hebrew phonological
reconstruction per se, but a particular theory
of phonological reconstruction.
Admittedly, the evidence I have is pretty
sketchy, pretty much restricted to Tanakh and
the New Testament.
For example, I noticed that the Samech had the
same shape and place in the alphabet as the
Greek Xi. Yet in modern Hebrew it has the same
pronunciation as the Sin.
What I noticed in glancing at historical
linguistics, is that when a language is a
living language and its spelling fluid,
letters tend not to change their
pronunciations in response to pronunciation
shifts, rather spellings tend to change.
Examples include Classical Greek thalattes
changing to Koiné Greek thalasses, and the
German Stratte changing to Straße. But in
a fossil language, where spellings are largely
frozen, it is the letters that change their
values in response to pronunciation shifts. An
example is the Latin -tion suffix, where in
Latin the -t- originally had the t sound,
later in response to fossilized spelling its
pronunciation changed to ts and now in
English it has the sh sound.
Now back to Samech, that it shares a
pronunciation with Sin is a clue (not proof)
that one or both letters had changed their
pronunciations due to Hebrew being a fossil
language. In Ezra and Nehemiah,
transliterations of Persian names into Hebrew
have a Samech in some places where Greek has a
Xi (some of the Hebrew transliterations have a
combination letter, X$, similar to the x
sound), but Aramaic had already lost the x
sound so those places that had a Samech in
Hebrew had a Sin/Shin in Aramaic.
In the New Testament, the transliteration of
names again indicates that there was a shift
even then still in progress, with Galilee
apparently lagging behind Judea (hence Peters
Galilean accent?). In particular, notice the
bifurcation of the BGDKPT and Sin/Shin
pronunciations. (These clues are better
preserved in the Byzantian tradition of New
Testament manuscripts than the Nestlé
I run the risk of building a castle on the
foundation of a molehill, the evidence I have
seen is that sparse, but as sparse as that
evidence is, it contradicts the theory of
Hebrew phonological reconstruction that I
Karl W. Randolph.
----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> On 10/03/2004 00:13, Karl Randolph wrote:
> >There was a consonental pronunciation change,
> >was any of that reflected in the writing?
> What change in consonantal pronunciation? When? What is your evidence? I
> remember that a few months ago you thoroughly rejected the usefulness of
> most of the sources for reconstructing the phonological history of
> Hebrew. Have you had a change of heart? Or have you constructed
> different theories, and if so on what evidence?
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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