[b-hebrew] Proto-Semitic, was WAYYIQTOL

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed Mar 17 05:35:08 EST 2004

On 16/03/2004 17:07, Karl Randolph wrote:

>English pronounces Latin loan words 
>according to a certain set of rules. Was 
>Latin at the time of the ceasars spoken 
>according to the same rules as modern 
>English rules for the same words? No one 
>that I know of would make that claim.
>By the time of the Masoretes, Hebrew had 
>not been spoken as a native language for 
>near a millennium. How do we know that the 
>Masorete pronunciation, very likely based 
>on Aramaic or other languages, was the same 
>as Hebrew was spoken a thousand years 
>earlier? There is reason to doubt it.
We know quite a lot about how Hebrew was pronounced at various times 
from transliterations of names in the Septuagint, in the New Testament, 
in Origen's Hexapla, in the Vulgate, etc etc. If you want to go back to 
the pre-exilic period, we know some things from cuneiform and Egyptian 
hieroglyphic transcriptions of names, although there may be some doubt 
about their original pronunciation.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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