[b-hebrew] Ayin and Ghayin

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Fri Oct 7 09:59:56 EDT 2005

On 10/7/05, Read, James C wrote:
> Sorry for the confusion I probably caused here. I was thinking of another
> document written in hebrew but not the Massorah. What do they call the
> oral torah? I can't remember. Does that begin with 'm' as well?


> Anyway, while I agree that the massoretic pointing represents what was
> traditionally held to be the original pronunciation, it it highly unlikely
> that this is the case. In particular, I would be wary of the vowels.

We're not discussing vowels.  But both vowels and consonants shift their values
through time in all languages.

> Your observation that different roots in the cognates gives strong evidence that
> the sin/shin were already considered separate phonemes before the split. The only
> question that remains is when this split actually happened.

I am not sure what you mean by "split" here.

> Can you unequivocally demonstrate that these cognates were in circulation before
> the early 16th century?

I had brought evidence from the Execration Texts regarding the sh/th difference:

As for Shin/Sin, Daniel Sivan's and Ziporah Cochavi-Rainey's "West Semitic
Vocabulary in Egyptian Script of the 14th to the 10th centuries BCE" notes:
Semitic & is represented in Egyptian by signs with s' and s, eg:
(a-s'-bu in GN [39, cf Heb (es'eb, Arabic (u$bu].
s'a'-(a'-ru' "hair" [187, cf Heb &e(ar, Arabic $a(r, $a(ar]
For further information and Bibliography see Sivan "Grammatical Analysis and
Glossary of the Northwest Semitic Vocables in Akkadian Texts of the 15th-13th
centuries BC from Canaan and Syria", AOAT 214.

Semitic $ is expressed by Egyptian with $, eg.
ma-$:-)ab "scoop" (117) from *$)B
Ma-$a-)-la GN (Thut III, 39) Heb Mi$)al < Canaanite *Ma$)al
(a'-$a-q "to oppress" (40), Heb (a$aq, Arabic (a$aqa.

Does this suffice?

Yitzhak Sapir

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