[b-hebrew] Canaanite - response to certain folks.
Chris and Nel
wattswestmaas at eircom.net
Wed Jun 28 17:55:23 EDT 2006
YITZHAK said -
> 4) Hebrew and Aramaic differ markedly. Babylonian Aramaic did not exist
> until much later, however. Aramaic is only known from about the 9th
> onwards, as are various later Canaanite dialects (Moabite, Israelite,
Surely when one considers that the Amorite dialect must have been very
widely spoken (a from of Aramaic) amongst Babylonia and around 2400-1800 in
Canaan when they moved in, and Abraham allying himself with them in a
momentous battle, alludes to some common understanding with them. And EARLY
aramaic had more in common with the canaanite tongue than did later aramaic?
Maybe upon this there is some thought that the SPOKEN hebrew during the
Egypt years was a kind of independently forming Aramaic. After all, Moses
fled to Midian and not the place of his ancestral beginnings in Canaan.
Midian being of course of Family kindred and similar tongue to Moses?
Otherwise surely a man who was lonely and in need of feeling secure would
try to find a place where he was most at home, both in language and belief?
Which would not have been Midian - just a thought! chris.
> what all this means is that the demographic majority of the people who
> eventually became
> "Israelites" and wrote the Hebrew Bible were of Canaanite origin. There
> other reasons to assume this as well. This does not mean a priori that
> was no Exodus and no Abraham - but it does mean that the biblical accounts
> of these events cannot be take at face value.
Canaanite origin? I personally think that that is pushing away so much
biblical literature and calling it fanciful? I know that hebrew was refrred
to as the language of canaan in scripture; But that refers to the situation
at that time. It was indeed the language of canaan in the same way that
English is the language of England -- but 1400 years ago Frisian was a
greater part the language alongside a few other germanic dialects, all
mutually intelligable. It seems probable that their were perhaps so many
dialects within a small demographic area of the middle east and over the
course of time they fused, became minorities, dialects of differing towns,
so much intermingeling that they are bound to find their own natural status
quo, and by the time that writing becomes established and dominant migrants
become also more permanently settled we see a couple mainstream languages
that may or may not reflect the spoken languages of the neighboring tribes.
In this case I am referring once again to the fact that Hundreds of
thousands of Israelites "semi -isolated" in a region where their spoken
langauge would have nothing to do with Egyptian and from where they would
natuarlly evolve a unique dialect Similar to Canaanite by virtue of the fact
that Canaanite was itself a form of Aramaic?
> While the linguistic evidence may strongly hint that the
> Israelites were native Canaanites originally (because the
> Hebew language of Judea, and the Israelite language of
> Israel were offshoots of the earlier attested Canaanite),
> the linguistic evidence is probably not sufficient and may
> even provide false leads. It is possible to think of
> conquerors who adopted the local language, such as
> perhaps the Norman conquest of England.
The Normans did not adopt the saxon language in England and they did not
adopt the Keltoi language in Ireland either. What happened was that they
influenced the language of saxon over 200 years - the written language was
latin and the spoken was Frankish. and never took any notice of Gaelic at
all when they arrived in 1170 in Ireland. In Ireland the celtic language
was pushed to the fringes. In England they brought in the written latin and
conversed in frankish dialects and influenced the saxon language that by
1400 you see a clearly defineable new written and spoken language which by
the way was sprinkeld with old norse as well. An Icelander in 2006 can read
at ease any old norse from 900ad without difficulty. Not so a norwegian or
an Englishmen or anybody else for that matter. It is a remarkable thing
that language in isolation retains its overall uniformity and oneness.
Invaders generally like to keep their own cultural and lingual identity. By
all this I am not saying that Hebrew was not influenced by a canaanite
language but rather I do not see that Hebrew can spring forth from canaanite
when this language is not a uniform entity but by all accounts that I have
read it was a mixture of different tribes and migrants speaking different
dialects but mutually intelligable and quite apart from what was happening
in Goshen. (if you accept the latter as having taken place). Maybe since
canaanite and early aramaic had so much in common that it is the labels we
give things that cause divisions in the first place?
PETER KIRK said
> An alternative scenario, which may appeal more to conservatives like
> Karl, is as follows: When Abraham and his family came to Canaan, they
> initially spoke a form of Aramaic, similar to what their relatives who
> remained in the north, like Laban, continued to speak. But when they
> moved to Canaan, they picked up the local Canaanite language.
I agree Peter but surely it is pushing things a bit to say that as a family
moves from one land to the next they instinctively start to change their
native tongue? Chris.
Maybe I should conclude by asking whether or not part of the answer lies in
the fact that we are talking different dialects and not seperate languages?
But as nations gradually take shape as they did in say the times of the
Kings in Israel, it is here that dialects start to move apart and into their
own right as a distinct language. After all this is exactly what happened
in Northern and western Europe from around the age of the germanic tribes in
the roman times until the distinct political barriers took place in the
1000 - 1100 ad. People then were more fluid and nobody needed a passport!
So maybe most of the lingual groups spoke a form of aramaic which when
divided up into smaller groups develope a unique identifiable lingual
structure, but we come along and think that one gave birth to the
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