[b-hebrew] DSS --> MT silent letters and vowel-points

Vadim Cherny VadimCherny at mail.ru
Tue Mar 15 13:58:51 EST 2005


> Peter Kirk,
> >...it is clear from the DSS than Hebrew spelling was not frozen soon
after the exile, but remained fluid right through the Second Temple period.
For there are significant and consistent differences betwen DSS, Mishnaic
and Masoretic Hebrew e.g. DSS and Mishnaic Hebrew rather consistently use a
silent alef to mark a long A vowel, but the Masoretic text never does.

What does silent aleph have to do with spelling? In the absence of vowel
points, aleph and waw were used to mark vowels. This constitutes no
"significant and consistent differences."
Some Aramaic influences, misspellings, vulgar errors in DSS are no evidence
of "significant and consistent differences," either.
Mishnaic Hebrew is an obvious development of the earlier language, with new
words and forms, but what is the basis of your assertion that "spelling was
not frozen soon after the exile, but remained fluid right through the Second
Temple period"?
Simply saying, Hebrew spelling could not be fluid because of the root system
and vowel-based word forms. When just every letter makes semantic
difference, how would you expect any "fluidity"?

Vadim Cherny




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