[b-hebrew] WAYYIQTOL/YIQTOL/WEYIQTOL [was Kamatz katan; ...was: Translating]

rochelle altman willaa at netvision.net.il
Tue Oct 10 17:56:59 EDT 2006


> > I did not state that BH as we have it shows all the forms.
> >
> > I do know that the Paleo- frags among the DSS use variant forms.
> >
>But even the oldest DSS post date by centuries the changes that
>Aramaic imposed on Hebrew by the fact (as I read it) that the
>returnies were more at home in Aramaic than Hebrew.

Those Paleo-Hebraic fragments are old. May even antedate the exile. Cross 
dubbed the scripts "Herodian" and "Hasmonean." The names should be "formal 
(or Book) Square Script and cursive square script. The cursive families 
appear at Elephantine in the 5th BCE.

> > Corrupted? .... You can't call that "corrupted." A living language 
> changes; Hebrew was a
> > living language at the period you are talking about.
> >
>Depends on how you define "living language".

Only a small percentage of the peoples was sent into exile: the elite -- 
the troublemakers in J'lem. Then, the peoples at Elephantine never went 
into exile. And there were others outside the country. So, the 
elitists  returnees spoke Aramaic as well as Hebrew..And? That means that 
the language died right then and there with their return? What about the 
Genizah documents in Hebrew. What about secular poetry written in Hebrew as 
late as the 10th-century CE. What about the Sephardic Jews that went to the 
Lowlands from Spain; they spoke and wrote Hebrew, you know. For heaven's 
sake, look at the commentaries written in Hebrew. Dead Language? Just 
because the Ashkenazim didn't use Hebrew except for religious purposes does 
not mean that every Jew stopped speaking Hebrew as one of his or her 

It's fairly standard for folks living in a country where another language 
is used daily to speak one language at home and another on the street.All 
my sons are polyglots and so are my grandchildren..So, yes, I am quite 
familiar with the effects of an "outside" language on inside the home 
languages.And I know that they are not as great as you seem to think they 
would be when the languages are from different families. The linguistic 
shifts are greater when the languages are cousins, though -- and it can go 
either way.

  uestion that's been floated out here is how far back does
> > the use of ADONAI go? From the meter, well, it's used in pre-Monarchial
> > psalms... so. I'd hazard 12th-11th-centuries BCE at the very least.
> >
>I've seen this as an argument for a tri-syllabic pronunciation of YHWH
>(I personally think that the W is the mater lectionis).

Then you will have to account for the tri-syllabic meter in every 
occurrence throughout the Psalms.

> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Rochelle
>Maybe I should have been more clear about "corrupted". Most of the
>time when I think of "corrupted" in this context, I refer to changes
>that new influences had on Biblical Hebrew so that it was no longer
>the language of David, Isaiah, even Jeremiah. There are two major
>changes: 1) the pronunciation, the returnies pronounced the language
>according to the Aramaic pronunciations of the alphabet, not
>necessarily the Hebrew pronunciation from pre-exilic times, and 2) a
>simpler, more direct use of the language than that employed by
>pre-exilic writers such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Psalms, Proverbs and
>others. I observe both changes.

1) we don't know how much the pronunciation shifted.

2) More likely there were no really gifted authors around. Just middling 
talents.Besides, Jeremiah wrote literary Hebrew -- he was a real show-off, 
he was. Isaiah was a 'memory man,' and memory men were trained poets as 
well as custodians of cultural values.The Psalms vary from multi-layered, 
mutli-vocal, complex works, such as the Davidic Psalms, to the almost folk 
songs of the pre-monarchial period. to the works of various trained 
composers. The really old psalms are not complex..

Where do you place Kohelet on this scale? The work does indicate a gifted.poet.

Try backing off from thinking of the bible as "Holy scripture" and try to 
think of them as works as literature. .

BTW, "holy" (halig) means healthy, whole, complete. "Healthy Scriptures." 
-- just a thought.

>Those are also indications that Hebrew
>was no longer learned at one's mother's knees, but living in the same
>manner as Latin is still a living language.

See my comments above. As an Ashkenazi, I only learned about the continuity 
and use of Hebrew as a living language among the  Sephardic communities 
after I married into a family that had been in the Lowlands since the 
12th-century.It was quite an eye-opener.

>Which leads me back to my original question, what evidence is there
>that there were four waws/vavs in pre-exilic Biblical Hebrew? I know
>of no pre-exilic epigraphic evidence for it.

Again, I didn't say we had any examples of four vavs in pre-exilic Hebrew 
--- unless those Paleo frags are pre-exilic. I said we had Phoenician, 
Moabite, and Aramaic inscriptions that display variant forms.I also 
mentioned that MT frags in formal square script have variant forms, as 
those are ca.2nd BCE and follow the MT anyway ....Please don't expand what 
I say beyond the boundaries I carefully stated...

>Yours, Karl W. Randolph.


Rochelle I.S. Altman

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