[b-hebrew] phonetic writing, was Initial "Beged Kefet" consonants always have a...

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Oct 24 18:27:35 EDT 2005


No, I haven't read all the data, but I have read the articles 
by Buth and others that were linked to on line here, and I 
have found that by their own admission, the data are 
weaker than what the authors claim. They admitted that 
most of the data are from non-native speakers of Greek, 
and much of the rest is dialectal. How much of both ended 
up in Athens and Corinth, major trading cities that 
included non-native populations of traders and slaves?

In such circumstances, it is better to agree to disagree 
because the evidence is not there to beat each other over 
the head.

As for Biblical Hebrew pronunciation, about the only thing 
we can say with certainty is that the Masoretic points do 
not preserve it. The rest is in the air. Further, the points 
reflect a thousand year development of pronunciation 
tradition by non-native speakers of Hebrew. The evidence 
that some of the letters had multiple pronunciations is 
based on certain presuppositions that can be proven by 
neither history nor linguistics. Likewise my theory has 
some evidence, but not enough to prove to the other side. 
I have been careful to say that this is my theory, and give 
my reasons for it, but never to denounce others as being 
wrong (unless my theory is proven correct). This is where 
I have come to disagree with my teachers. But I will 
continue to insist that the emperor has no clothes, that 
presuppositions and theoretical constructs do not 
represent data.

In such circumstances, it is better to agree to disagree 
because the evidence is not there to beat each other over 
the head.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kevin Riley" <klriley at alphalink.com.au>
> Karl, have you actually read the evidence put forward by Allen or Caragounis
>   to name just two respected writers?  Much of the evidence comes from Athens
>   Corinth, etc - hardly towns foreign to Greeks.  The more I discuss this
> with you, the more I become convinced you haven't read much at all on the
> history of writing or the changes to Greek or Hebrew.  I know you dismiss
> all of it as rubbish, but you don't even seem to know what it says.  Either
> you mean something different by diphthongs and 'full glottal stops', or else
> you reveal again you haven't read the writings on this subject you want to
> convince us that you have better answers for than the 'experts'.  While
> re-checking data was fun, this conversation isn't, so I will do as you
> suggested earlier and agree to disagree.
> Kevin Riley
> -------Original Message-------
> From: Karl Randolph
> Date: 10/22/05 00:56:34
> Kevin:
> Except in the rare cases where the non-native speaker is
> able to learn and speak a foreign language like a native
> speaker, his spelling, if he writes phonetically, will reflect
> his wrong pronunciation and not the correct pronunciation
> of the native speaker.
> A humorous example from the last century was the
> "Katzenjammer Kids" cartoon's spellings of the immigrant
> parents' English.
> Now we have gotten onto a tangent in discussing Greek
> pronunciation, but we find that it had a few similar
> sounding vowels, epsilon, eta and iota, along with
> diphthongs like EI which I suspect originally was
> pronounced similar to "e'ee" which has no similar
> diphthong in English. When spoken quickly, sloppily or
> accented like a "furriner" as a monophthong, it would
> sound either more like an eta or iota depending on which
> part of the diphthong was emphasized, hence its
> "misspellings" as eta or iota. Later the foreign accents
> became mainstreamed by the Byzantine empire, which
> would affect the pronunciations also in Greece itself.
> Now getting back to Hebrew, did Biblical Hebrew have
> diphthongs? I know that Tiberian Hebrew had at least
> one, but did Biblical Hebrew? How would we know? Is it
> possible that the Aleph originally was a symbol indicating
> a diphthong? We know that it had phonemic difference
> from Eyin, which was a full glottal stop at least.
> Karl W. Randolph.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kevin Riley" <klriley at alphalink.com.au>
> >
> > ... I would have
> > thought that non-native speakers would provide good evidence as they are
> > less likely to know the spelling conventions.
> >
> > Kevin Riley

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