[b-hebrew] Yitzhak - Canaanites/Amorites/Language - a reply

Chris and Nel wattswestmaas at eircom.net
Thu Jun 29 16:31:09 EDT 2006

Yitzhak wrote
Why "must"?  Where do you get this "must"?  What evidence
do you have that Amorite was spoken at all in Babylonia.  All
evidence we have shows that Akkadian was spoken in Babylonia.

Chris replies
>>>The only Akkadian we see is a literary Akkadian, reflecting certainly
>>>that a language resembling this written form was widely used, but we can
>>>not deny the existence of other dialects when there are clearly
>>>inscriptions that mention the Amurru around Babylonia/Akkad.

Yitzhak wrote
Amorite may indeed be an ancestor of Canaanite.  We have very
little evidence of it, however.

Chris replies
>>>>>Little evidence I know but circumstantial will do for now.

Chris wrote
>and Abraham allying himself with them in a momentous battle,

Yitzhak wrote
This is not any piece of linguistic evidence.  Nor does "allying
oneself with another" whether it is historically accurate or not,
tell us anything about the language.

Chris replies
 >>>>>I agree

Chris wrote
> alludes to some common understanding with them.

Yitzhak wrote
Since such phenomenons as bilingualism, especially among
the elite and army generals was known from ancient times.

Chris replies
>>>>>I agree

Chris wrote
> And EARLY aramaic had more in common with the canaanite
> tongue than did later aramaic?

Yitzhak wrote
We have no evidence of Aramaic prior to the 1st millenium BCE.

Chris replies
>>>>>LABAN??? Jacob a wandering aramean?????

Chris wrote
> 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.

Yitzhak wrote
None of this is any kind of linguistic evidence.

Chris replies
>>>>>You are right!  But I am not thinking as a linguist because I am not

Yitzhak wrote
Hebrew is a developed form of Canaanite.  That is a fact.

Chris replies
>>>>>Canaanite is a label that over simplifies the issue, People think of
>>>>>canaanite and connect it with Canaan.  BUT I think that it should be
>>>>>explained that Canaanite could well have been spoken in the middle of
>>>>>the nomadic wastelands a few hundred miles east of Ur?  Canaanite
>>>>>describes an Alphabet and that's it!

Yitzhak wrote
Languages are not born anew.  They develop.  Thus the "new written
and spoken language" is still related to the ancient parent language
and has much in common with it.  I brought this as an example.  Of course,
the most simplest conclusion from the fact that Hebrew is a developed
form of Canaanite, is that the speakers of Canaanite were ancestors of
the speakers of Hebrew.  No conquest, no borrowing, nothing is necessary
to assume.

Chris replies
>>>>>I agree with all the above EXCEPT THIS:-that the speakers of Canaanite
>>>>>were ancestors of
the speakers of Hebrew"

>>>>>---  Not so!  Abraham did not stem from Canaan.  If however you accept
>>>>>that canaanite is a broad term that WE USE TO DESIGNATE A LINGUA FRANCA
>>>>>of commonly related peoples and NOT confined to a geographical area
>>>>>then Yes!

Chris wrote
> 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.

Yitzhak wrote
I am not sure what you have read, but obviously you have not read any
linguistic description of Hebrew.  Try "A History of the Hebrew Language"
by Saenz-Badillos.

Chris replies
>>>>>So Funny this, it is his book that caused me to post this question in
>>>>>the first place!!!!
I got half way through and had to begin again and again.  All those
linguistic data and terminology is a nightmare for me and so it is hard to 
appreciate.  But I have found it
extremely helpful none the less.  Unfortunately it will not educate me too 
much because I have no background understanding of all that detailed 
movement of sound change etc.

Chris wrote
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 other?????? Chris

Yitzhak wrote
"Maybe" and "Could" is not linguistic evidence.

Chris replies
>>>>>I am not a linguistic evidence orientated phonologically minded data
analyser; the above statement conceals a quest for answers rather than
a proposition against those who could shoot me down within seconds of
opening my mouth.  the last statement was deffinately not well thought
out or composed. I really must take more time to to prepare a written
expression of disjointed thoughts.

Best Regards
Chris Watts (A self learner, not a student)

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