[b-hebrew] Ayin and Ghayin
Read, James C
K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Thu Oct 6 20:58:05 EDT 2005
Erm, I haven't personally read the massorah but from all those that
have read it or portions of it I gather that the hebrew it contains
is more than blatantly evidently much more modern in style and word
On the matter of the number of phonemes, while I haven't studied the
matter deep enough to formulate an opinion I do think the owness of
proof is rather on us to prove Karl wrong in this matter than vice
versa. The reason for this is clear. The unpointed text uses 22
characters. In general, when languages invent a system of recording
its sounds they try to use one character per sound. English is a great
exception to this rule but to be frank, the English writing system is
the bastardised product of countless conquests against our little
fertile (and very wet) island. And so examples of English betrayal of
this pattern would be completely irrelevant.
So, for this reason, unless we are to present convincing internal
evidence to Karl that such was not the case, he is more than justified
in believing that the consonants used in the hebrew text of the torah
represent the whole range of the consonants that its author/s were
capable of pronouncing.
There again we would do well to ask ourselves a few questions:
Where did moses learn to write hebrew?
In egypt he would have used hyroglyphs (please feel free to correct the spelling)
Did Abraham, Isaac & Jacob write? Did they learn to write from their
Chaldean routes? Was the hebrew that Abraham spoke different to the
hebrew that Moses spoke? Archaic yhwh seems to suggest that this was so.
Did moses learn to write hebrew in Egypt as part of his royal education?
Or did he learn it from his time with Jethro and the sheep?
Was the ability to write a sign of education? Or could all hebrews write?
Did the hebrews he left Egypt with help him to learn how to write as he had always
read and written Egyptian prior?
On the matter of sin/shin I think Karl has good reason to believe these represented
one sound. Take for example the English 'u' (I know, I am now officially a
hypocrite).Not so long ago Peter said that English 'u' is like a russion 'a'.
Well, not for me it isn't! For me there is no difference between the
'u' of run and the 'u' of bull. For Peter, they are two different phonemes
and the 'u' of Peter's run is similar to my 'a' of ran. Estuary English goes
the whole hog and I cannot distinguish the difference between my 'ran'
and their 'run' and therefore have to rely on context to understand if they
are referring to the past or the present. While this is an extreme example
it does show how with time and dialectal differences, how one character can
come to represent two phonemes when at one time in the history of the language
it only represented one sound.
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