[b-hebrew] Lev 21:18 - Passive Participle
kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Oct 31 10:29:46 EST 2005
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peter at qaya.org>
> On 30/10/2005 01:27, Karl Randolph wrote:
> > Peter:
> > 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!
There are times when absence of evidence is a lack, i.e.
that a certain phenomenon existed but that we have yet to
find evidence for it, and other times when it is evidence of
lack, i.e. that the looked for phenomenon was never there
in the first place.
This is one of the cases IMO of the latter.
> > (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.
I had previously pointed to evidence that such processes
possibly happened: where it has happened in other
languages (from historical records), mechanisms of how it
happened in those languages, and the clues that change
left as it occurred. Then I looked at patterns within Semitic
language family and see the same clues of change. This
is where we disagree, and the lack of evidence (in the first
sense above) prevents resolution of that disagreement.
> > 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
> -- Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
What I have repeatedly claimed is that lack of evidence in
Biblical Hebrew should often be understood in the second
sense above, whereas almost universally it is understood
in the first sense. This is my claim concerning the number
of phonemes is Biblical Hebrew. This forms the one
element of many of my disagreements with BDB and
other modern lexicographers.
In this particular example, I agree with Jack that there is
only one meaning for XRM evidenced in Biblical Hebrew.
This forms a lack of evidence in the second sense above
for multiple roots. Does this lack of evidence trump the
evidence from Arabic? I say "Yes."
(Incidentally, I think there is a possible resolution between
his and my understandings of the meaning. More later.)
I think a further discussion on XRM is pointless as long as
we do not agree on the nature of "lack of evidence", and
like you, I do not wish to drag it out where resolution will
most likely not occur. It would not be fair to others on this
Karl W. Randolph.
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