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

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Tue Nov 28 14:18:47 EST 2006

On 11/28/06, K Randolph wrote:

> On 11/27/06, Peter Kirk wrote:
> > ... How did Hebrews know to
> > pronounce their word for "bull" shor rather than sor, when the Aramaic
> > is tor? But shor fits the reconstruction from the common ancestor. And
> > that's a quick example from memory.
> >
> Another example is TLTH for three.
> Here's where research is needed, a person who knows both Biblical
> Hebrew and Aramaic, is there a pattern that wherever the Hebrew
> sibilant is changed to a T in Aramaic, that it is the shin and not the
> sin that is changed? My knowledge of Aramaic is too limited to do the
> research, but I am curious what the answer would be.

Yes.  Sin in Hebrew does not correspond to Aramaic Taw but to Aramaic
Sin and Samekh (This, apparently because of a greater tendency in
Aramaic to replace Sin with Samekh).  Whenever there is such a
correspondence in such a word, the corresponding word in Ugaritic and
Arabic will have a "th".  Other Hebrew Aramaic Correspondences can be
seen at: http://www.bartleby.com/61/JPG/proto.jpg
(I already showed you this table, and presumably you looked at it).

As you can see, there are two places where Hebrew has $ in the table,
one corresponding to Aramaic t and one corresponding to Aramaic $.  Sin
in Hebrew corresponds to Aramaic s.  The correspondences are very regular
and occur in a large number of words which is what makes it possible to
construct such a table.  Coming to a realization that such a list of
correspondences exists and of its regularity is the reason I wanted you to
read some Aramaic and Ugaritic.

Yitzhak Sapir

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