[b-hebrew] comparative historical linguistics was Re: Nun-Tav-Vet root

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Nov 25 07:36:24 EST 2006


On 11/25/06, Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu> wrote:
> You say: "Biblical Hebrew may have had the spoken structure of CVCVCV
> where each
> consonant was followed by a vowel". The designation of V for a vowel
> is appropriate in the Indo-European languages where a vowel is a mere
> sound. It is patently misleading in Hebrew. You my liberally add the
> A sound to a Hebrew word, but not the U and I sounds since they stand
> for personal pronouns. You need also to make a distinction in this
> respect between nouns and verbs.
I did not specify which vowel was specified by the V above, and I
don't know enough about your theory to say yes or no to what you say,
but if you are correct, that U and I sounds may have been chosen to be
that V based on your theory.

All I say is that if the BGDKPT letters originally had only one sound,
then many words would be unpronounceable unless each consonant is
followed by a vowel. Examples include Rebecca (modern Hebrew Rivkah)
and Capernaum (Kfar Nachum).

> One must beware of applying the crude terminology of Indo-European
> linguistics (actually Englishtics) to Hebrew.
Of course.

Karl W. Randolph.

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