[b-hebrew] Proto-Semitic, was WAYYIQTOL

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Thu Mar 18 17:56:15 EST 2004


It looks as if we should drop this 
discussion. Unless either of us finds data 
other than what has been presented on this 
list in the last few weeks, neither seems 
able to convince the other. We are arguing 
in circles.

Evidence that I recognize argues for an 
earlier, rather than later, adoption of 
Aramaic for the language cooed over the 
cradle, bickered in the market and 
conversed on the street, leaving Hebrew 
spoken fluently only as a second language 
by an educated elite for religion, 
government and high (mostly religious) 
literature. This is analogous to the use of 
Latin in Europe in the 14th century and 
imperial Chinese in the 19th. You argue 
that the existence of religious, 
governmental and high literature Hebrew 
indicates that people still learned Hebrew 
at their mothers’ knees.

My personal preference is that Hebrew was 
the language of the street, but I just 
don’t see it.

Unless you present some radically new data, 
I plan not to respond to any message 
dealing with this issue.

Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org>

> On 17/03/2004 17:45, Karl Randolph wrote:
> >Peter:
> >
> >Where have I argued that Hebrew was not 
> >used after the Galut Babel?
> >
> >Karl W. Randolph.
> >
> >  
> >
> You wrote the following:
> >Hebrew had 
> >ceased being the language on the street in 
> >all but the most remote farming villages by 
> >the time of the Maccabees, if not earlier. 
> >Yet because it was the language of 
> >religion, government and high literature, 
> >it continued to be spoken by an educated 
> >elite, much like Latin in Europe.
> >
> So you accept that Hebrew was used for religious purposes including 
> writing the DSS, but not as anyone's mother tongue. In principle that is 
> possible. In actuality the evidence is against it, but rather that 
> Hebrew continued as the mother tongue of some communities throughout the 
> Second Temple period.
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/

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