[b-hebrew] Proto-Semitic, was WAYYIQTOL
kwrandolph at email.com
Sat Mar 13 23:33:05 EST 2004
That is exactly what I was taught about
What I question about proto-Semitic, as it
was taught me, is that practically every
phoneme found in modern Semitic languages
are posited as having been present in
proto-Semitic. That ignores that languages
not only lose phonemes, but gain them as
well. It is possible that Hebrew, with 22
consonantal phonemes, was the original
proto-Semitic that survived the event at
Babel in the third millennium. I find that
proposition philosophically attractive, but
in the absence of clear cut documentation
for or against, I hesitate to push it. It
is the same lack of documentation for the
hypothetical proto-Semitic that makes me
question its validity as a measure of how
Biblical Hebrew was originally pronounced.
As for the theory of evolution, I thought
it is a good example for this discussion.
Just as in developing proto-Semitic, it is
an extrapolation of what is believed to be
present processes. What angers me is not
the theory itself, but the claims of its
protagonists that it is scientific, when
demonstrably it is not. In making the
comment, I did not intend it to proselytize
for or against evolution (what you believe
is your own business), just to use it as an
illustration, then drop the subject.
Karl W. Randolph.
----- Original Message -----
From: Dave Washburn <dwashbur at nyx.net>
> Proto-Semitic is a hypothetical ancestor to most, if not all, of the semitic
> family of languages. It has been extrapolated based on comparison of
> consonant changes among Hebrew, Aramaic, Ugaritic, Akkadian and several
> others. There's a good summary of it in the introductory material of
> Gordon's Ugaritic Textbook. Just as Latin is the ancestor of the Romance
> languages, proto-semitic is the suggested ancestor of the semitic languages.
> Dave Washburn
> Learning about Christianity from a non-Christian
> is like getting a kiss over the telephone.
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