[b-hebrew] Why Semitic languages had no written vowels?

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Mon May 2 03:19:17 EDT 2005


Dear all,

While I have been hesitant about getting into this one and while I have no
fully-formulated opinion of my own, Karl's statement below is not
necessarily true. As a native speaker of modern Hebrew, I find it quite
natural to use the piel in certain contexts and the qal in others, without
having to think of the rules first. Most roots use either one or the other.
I would never say "davar" for "he said" - only "dibber". "Lamad" means "he
learned"; "limmed" is "he taught". No ambiguity about it. Yes, there are
words that can have several related meanings, just like in any language, but
the native speaker learns to tell the difference. A language is first
spoken, only later written, and this was as true in the Iron Age as it is
now.

Yigal

----- Original Message -----
From: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
To: "Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, May 02, 2005 7:18 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Why Semitic languages had no written vowels?


>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Vadim Cherny" <VadimCherny at mail.ru>
> >
> > I don't think that the relationship between paal and piel is difficult
at
> > all, if only we accept an obvious thing about piel, the notion of
intensity.
> >
> > Vadim Cherny
>
> Vadim:
>
> That’s just the problem—only very very rarely can intensity be recognized
from the context.
>
> I suspect that the Piel, if it existed, would have had clear contextual
clues so that the reader would recognize it without vower points.
>
> So what are the contextual clues that point to a Piel?
>
> Karl W. Randolph.
> --
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