[b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation

Vadim Cherny VadimCherny at mail.ru
Tue Aug 2 15:31:07 EDT 2005

I think, we have a methodological problem here. Linguistics, unlike
mathematics, is not a formal science. I cannot prove conclusively that YHWH
is not a verb, but a compound of possessive suffixes. But the latter
hypothesis seems simpler and provides for the secrecy of vowelization,
impossible in case of the verb.

You may consider a side issue. I suggest that suffix of duality, ai-e-im,
consists of the possessive suffixes "thine, mine" or "thou, I." Suffix of
abstract plurality -on or -ot was likely au, "thine, his" or "thou, he."
Usage of the third person as opposed to the first person makes sense to
distinguish remotely abstract and particular (dual) plurality.
YHW case might be similar.

> > ... True, Greeks generally omit he, but, as I wrote to Peter, that
> > happens in the words that have other consonants. ...
> Not only in such words. Remember King Jehu, who in Greek becomes EIOU,
> IHOU or IOU.

But he is not omitted at all in these examples. It became iota or epsilon
that is sometimes assimilated into o, making Iou.

Iao, on the contrary, has nothing for the first he if alpha is for schwa. If
alpha is for he, as I suggest, then the word is not the verb. In the verb
ihie, Greeks would not hear he as alpha, but as epsilon if light or perhaps
as chi if heavily guttural.

> > In yhwh verb, he is the only candidate for consonantal pronunciation,
> > and Greeks would have written it somehow, with epsilon, perhaps, but
> > possibly even with gamma.
> This is baseless speculation, as we have no examples of Greek words
> (with or without other consonants) in which he has been replaced by any
> other letter.

How about your example of Yehu?

> >On the other hand, *if* YHW is a set of matres lectionis, then Io and Iao
transliterations are natural.
> >
> But it is not, because it cannot be, because this contradicts the whole
> concept of matres lectionis. So we have more baseless speculations.

Grammatical concepts, such as the concept of matres lectionis, relate to
morphologically correct words, not to acronyms or other artificial sets,
such as YHW.
If I need to make this obvious thing still more clear, your read U-eS-Ei,
not iuse. You don't read acronyms like normal words. Similarly, YHW
construct would be read Iao.

Vadim Cherny

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