[b-hebrew] Re: PS /g/

Mark Camilleri markcam01 at onvol.net
Tue Nov 16 14:23:13 EST 2004


Mr. Yigal Levin said, "What I meant was, that Arabic only has one letter with an /s/ sound, which
both looks like Shin and is called Sin (or Sheen/Seen). By the time Arabic
adapted its alphabet from Syriac or whatever form of Aramaic, Samekh and Sin
were pronounced the same, and since Arabic did not have a tradition, as did
Hebrew and Aramaic, of using both, it had no need of both. By the way, the
very fact that Arabic DID revceive Sin, means that at least some Aramaic
speakers were pronouncing it as /s/, differently than Shin."

I agree with most of what Mr. Levin said about seen and sheen. In fact in most cases as sin/shin in Hebrew correspond to sheen/seen in Arabic.

I am aware also hat in various cases where Samekh occurs in Hebrew Seen is used in Arabic e.g. sefer = sifr, 

However I would like to ask what about another sibilant Arabic owns, that is, the Sad (emphatic /s/)? It is tempting to say that it corresponds with tzade in the numeric order (i.e. 90) but, in most cases, phonetically speaking, tzade compares best with the emphatics Dad and Zha rather than with Sad. 

Can I have an answer to this?

Mark





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