[b-hebrew] exodus, dating of linguistics

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sat May 29 16:19:00 EDT 2004

On 29/05/2004 13:26, Michael Abernathy wrote:

>>But would a native of this region use "boot" in a
>>written work intended for national circulation? Probably not, as they
>>would be aware that this is not the most widespread usage.
>In writing to one another, yes they do. ...

Yes, maybe. But not when they are writing books or articles for printing 
nationwide or even state-wide, surely.

>... But my point is really this,
>ancient culture were highly isolated in ways that we cannot imagine.  When
>you have to walk everywhere, when there is no radio, television, newspaper,
>etc., a regional difference of only a few miles can result in language
>differences as great as those between the United States and the United

Oh, I understand. I know of places where a few miles walk in any 
direction results in language differences as great as that between the 
UK and France or between the USA and Mexico, i.e. totally different, 
although distantly related, languages. And I know of a language spoken 
in just one village of 2000 people, but which still has four distinct 
dialects spoken in the four quarters of the village. On the other hand, 
I also know of places where essentially the same language was spoken 
over distances of thousands of miles even before any modern inventions. 
Indeed the USA itself is a good example, in the late 19th century (and 
even before the telegraph and the transcontinental railroad if you want 
to get picky about modern inventions); certainly there were some 
regional variations, but I suspect that the English of a 19th century 
California newspaper would be only slightly different from that of a New 
York newspaper, or a London one.

So, we can't jump to any quick conclusions about language use in ancient 
Israel, but we need to look closely at the actual evidence. And Yigal 
has given us some good pointers in that direction.

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

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