kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Aug 29 16:41:55 EDT 2005
When did we have such a discussion as you claim below? I
don't recall it.
1) I do not claim that the rule is without exceptions.
2) (RB is listed in my notes as one of the exceptions.
This listing predates my involvement in this forum.
It is possible that they may have had the same origin, but
the data is too sparse either to prove or disprove such a
connection. What I object to is the claim that cognate
language data "prove" or "disprove" certain connections
within Biblical Hebrew, especially when the cognate
languages are much later than Biblical Hebrew, for
example, Arabic. The main use of cognate definitions is
for lexemes used so seldom, and in contexts where we can
only guess at meaning, but even there treat with
And how do I reject lexicographic principles? The basic
method is to study each lexeme in its contexts to get an
idea as to its meaning. The main difference between me
and, let's say BDB, is that they looked at the formal
aspects of meaning while I look for the functional aspects.
Another difference that I see is that I compared and
contrast synonyms and antonyms, to get a tighter handle
on word meanings, whereas I don't see much evidence that
they did so.
Another difference is purely philosophical, as there is no
evidence either for or against the belief that Semitic
languages started out with all the phones now found in
southern Arabic and the various languages lost phones over
time, whereas I look at the historical record that
indicates languages both lost and gained phones over time.
Hence, some of the "evidence" from cognate languages for
different roots may instead be evidence that some
languages split phones, not that there were originally
different roots in Hebrew.
Karl W. Randolph.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> On 29/08/2005 06:32, Karl Randolph wrote:
> > ...
> > Occam’s razor says that the simplest answer is usually the
> > correct one, not that lexemes have multiple meanings. As it is,
> > the simplest answer is that each word, or lexeme, has one
> > meaning, hence Occam’s razor would favor my working hypothesis.
> > I have not advanced the theory before this recent discussion,
> > merely used the results in previous discussions. It is
> > interesting that when I reported the results in previous
> > discussions, it was rare for anyone to question how I came to the
> > results that I had. The questions were fewer than the fingers on
> > one hand.
> Karl, we have had extensive discussions on this list before in
> which you have repeatedly insisted on your rejection of the basic
> principles of modern lexicography, and among more specific points
> your rejection of evidence from cognate languages which sometimes
> proves that there are multiple Hebrew roots with the same form. (A
> clear exmple of this proof is that there are two roots
> ayin-resh-bet, one meaning "evening" or "west" as in Arabic maghreb
> "the West, North Africa", and another meaning "nomad" as in Arabic
> `arab "Arab" - whereas presumably your method would imply that
> Hebrew `erev "evening" and `arav "nomad, Arab" have the same
> origin.) You have certainly had far more than five exchanges on
> this issue with me alone.
> -- Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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