[b-hebrew] Nun-Tav-Vet root

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Tue Nov 21 08:26:32 EST 2006

On 11/21/06, K Randolph wrote:

> On what basis do you make the claim that נתיבה stems from נצב? Do you
> have written records showing the development of נתיבה from נצב within
> the Hebrew language, and where are they? Which chapter and verse is
> such evidence found in Tamakh? Or is your claim based on that
> mythological entity known as "proto-Semitic" for which there is no
> surviving record to be found, along with looking at cognate languages
> while discounting the actual uses in Biblical Hebrew found in Tanakh?

I am certain you will be happy to learn that Isaac Fried does not believe
looking at cognate languages will be as fruitful as looking at the "internal"
evidence.  To quote from the introduction to his book:

"Hebrew is a primal language issuing from the depth of the human soul
and has no 'origin, מקור in any other language. The etymology of the
Hebrew language is an internal affair. The understanding of the true
original meaning of the Hebrew root is achieved by descending into
its primary components more than by relying on the peculiar nature
of its relatives." (p. 14 available online at
http://www.hebrewetymology.com/Introduction%20(English).pdf )

To quote a review at Amazon:
"Prof. Fried is to be respected for the amount of time spent on this
work and for his creative approach to Hebrew studies. However, he
is unfamiliar with any of the principles of historical linguistics. He
wants to suggest that every Hebrew word can be analyzed based
on individual meanings of each letter. Unfortunately, the idea that
each individual letter has a discrete meaning is wildly improbable.
Prof. Fried also compares Hebrew words with Indo-European
counterparts, when no good scholar belives that Hebrew is
genetically related to the IE languages. This book is worth looking
at for the original views presented, and Prof. Fried is certainly
offering the book at a reasonable price. However, the uninitiated
scholar should be warned not to buy into the etymologies or
methodology presented. Much better is Ernest Klein's
Etymological Dictionary of Hebrew, or the etymologies presented
in Even Shoshan's Hebrew-Hebrew dictionary."

Yitzhak Sapir

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