[b-hebrew] Kamatz katan; Ashkenazi pronunciation; was: Translating

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Sat Oct 7 01:44:08 EDT 2006

Dear Peter,

Time and again it has been demonstrated that we live in two different
linguistic worlds. So I see no purpose in a discussion between us. However,
you challenge my statement that it is a fact that WAYYIQTOLs did not exist
before the Masoretes. I will comment on that.

A WAYYIQTOL is by definition a prefix form with patah and gemination (or
vowel lenthening i 1. p. s). It is *a fact* that such forms are not found
before the Masoretes. About 23% of all WAYYIQTOLs in the MT are apocopated.
These are particularly found among hiphils and lamed he verbs. The problem
for those using apocopation as an indetification of WAYYIQTOLs is that a
great number of WEYIQTOLs are apocopated as well. So, when a prefix form in
unpointed texts is preceded by a WAW, there is no way to identify it as
anything but a conjunction. So, it is *a fact* that  there are no proofs 
WAYYIQTOLs existed before the Masoretes. I did not discuss speculation and 
beliefs; I discussed morphological evidence.

Best regards,

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Kirk" <peter at qaya.org>

>> ... The answer stands and falls with the view of WAYYIQTOL. As a matter
>> of fact, the WAYYIQTOL did not exist before the Masoretes! ...
> This is not a matter of fact but of your interpretation. Even if there was
> a real absence of evidence (and there is in fact plenty from apocopation,
> and from distinctions in translations in LXX etc), absence of evidence is
> not evidence of absence. There are plenty of things about ancient
> languages of which we don't have direct evidence, only more or less
> speculative reconstructions. The absence of evidence of how ancient
> peoples spoke is not evidence that they didn't speak!

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