[b-hebrew] Fw: WAYYIQTOL

Uri Hurwitz uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 10 16:54:28 EST 2004

Karl Randolph <kwrandolph at email.com> wrote, inter alia: 

"Was Arabic widely known in Judea and Samaria 
during the Second Temple era? As far as I 
know, not."
     A similarity in use of verbs in BH and Arabic simply means that such verbal functions are not unique to Biblical Hebrew. One is hard put to understand the various gramatical features of BH without referring to 'proto Semitic' (preserved in classical Arabic), such as the appearance of "T" in the construct and declensions of F.S. and so forth.
     The discussion of the duration of Hebrew as a spoken language has to take into account Mishnaic Hebrew, or LH. This language thrived for centuries and cannot be explained away simply as pure invention by the scholars of the time without any grounding in daily life use. 
     As for the peculiar phrase "fossil language" which Karl applies to BH, in view of all the works written specifically in this language, to the present day, one can only paraphrase Churchill's words: "Some fossil!  Some language!"


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