[b-hebrew] Lev 21:18 - Passive Participle

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Mon Oct 31 06:31:20 EST 2005

On 30/10/2005 01:27, Karl Randolph wrote:

>This brings up the question which trumps what? Does 
>internal evidence trump cognate languages, or the other 
>way around?
>If within Biblical Hebrew there is only one meaning 
>evidenced for a lexeme, ...

There is no easy answer to your question. But there is an easy answer to 
the question which is in fact relevant here: Does absence of internal 
evidence trump evidence from cognate languages, or the other way around? 
I don't see any way in which absence of evidence can trump evidence!


>(Further, the two Arabic roots look as if they could have 
>come originally from one root that first became dialectic 
>differences, that later became phonemic.)

All I can say is that there is no evidence that such processes have ever 
happened in the Semitic languages, whose root structure is extremely 
stable over millennia.

>The only way to resolve this disagreement is to find 
>documents that show a development of Hebrew indicating 
>that it originally had the extra sounds. So far there has 
>been no sign of those documents. So we'll have to agree 
>to disagree.
No, Karl, I will not agree to disagree, although I will not pursue a 
pointless discussion for long. There is ample evidence available, from 
cognate languages and from transliterations, for this development of 
Hebrew, even though it is not in actual Hebrew documents because the 
Hebrew alphabet never made this particular distinction.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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