[b-hebrew] Initial "Beged Kefet" consonants always have a...

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Thu Oct 20 12:27:34 EDT 2005

Dear Peter:

When looking back at the other URLs that you provided, I 
noticed that the one that went into the most detail admitted 
that much, if not most, of the evidence that Buth and others 
like him depend on are from people who were not native 
speakers of Greek and dialectal differences. Those are 
exactly the types of data that I consider invalid as 
evidences for his theory.

Yet he has the hubris to announce that he can determine 
exactly what the pronunciations were at each time period.

But for me the biggest reason I questioned his 
conclusions is based on a class I had concerning history 
of languages, how they change and what evidences do 
we have of their changes. The last one is the stickiest one, 
in that changes can occur under the radar if spelling is 
frozen. Where spelling is not frozen and the language is 
spelled phonetically, it is rare for a letter, particularly a 
consonant, to change pronunciation. But when the 
spelling is frozen, then all bets are off.

When was Greek spelling frozen?

Because of differences of spelling between classical 
Greek and koiné, not counting foreign accented and 
dialectal differences, it appears that the spelling was 
frozen after koiné. Without being an expert in Greek but 
just looking at history, the period most likely to be when 
Greek spelling was frozen is the Byzantine period.

In closing, he may be right, and I wrong, but I question his 
claims because of data I have from other sources. He 
needs to show that spellings were frozen to account for 
his claims of letter pronunciation changes, and he hasn't 
done so. All he has shown are dialectal and accented 
pronunciations, as well as attempts to say foreign words  
besides the normal changes languages go through during 
history. I question, but can't answer.

The same problem with frozen spellings is why I question 
ancient Hebrew pronunciations as traditions have passed 
them down to us.

Karl W. Randolph.

Ps. Many of my "unorthodox conclusions" I pose first as 
questions, and for good reasons. Yes, I have withdrawn 
some of them.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> On 19/10/2005 22:34, Karl Randolph wrote:
> > ...
> >
> > I may be wrong, but I suspect that modern Greek is far closer to 
> > Byzantine pronunciation than koiné. I date many of the 
> > pronunciation changes that led to modern Greek to the Byzantine 
> > period, in other words after the LXX and the New Testament with 
> > their transliterations were written.
> >
> >
> >
> Karl, thank you for your comments. I agree that there are all kinds 
> of uncertainties in the evidence which Buth and many other scholars 
> have collected, and as a result of that different scholars have 
> come to different conclusions. What bothers me is the approach 
> which you and several other list members seem to take to such 
> questions, as in the paragraph above. A healthy scepticism about 
> the evidence and arguments presented by recognised scholars is 
> good. But what is not good is an assumption that our own intuition, 
> based very often on no evidence at all and no coherent arguments, 
> is better than the best which scholars can come up with. Well, at 
> least you say "I may be wrong". I wish that you and others would 
> always say the same when presenting unorthodox conclusions.
> -- Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/

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