[b-hebrew] verb forms - Isaiah 56:6-7 was dying you shall die

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 17 21:19:53 EDT 2007

Peter Kirk wrote:
>> Isaac Fried wrote:  
>>> How do I know all this? If you come to think of it, it cannot be  
>>> otherwise.
>> HH: Of course it can be otherwise. The verbs could always have had 
>> suffixes and prefixes. Separate independent pronouns are used 
>> together with verbs with prefixes and suffixes sometimes.
> On this one I am more or less with Isaac, on the general principle if 
> not the detail. It seems clear that in a wide variety of language 
> families including Semitic, personal endings of verbs etc (suffixes 
> and occasionally prefixes) are generally forms of the relevant 
> personal pronouns, which were initially separate and gradually became 
> merged with the roots, with phonological changes resulting from that. 
> This merging of roots and suffixes had probably already taken place in 
> the earliest reconstructable proto-forms of the language families I am 
> familiar with: Indo-European, Semitic and Turkic. Indeed the 
> similarities between the endings in these languages suggest that the 
> merger may have taken place even before these three families split (if 
> indeed they did). Nevertheless there are clear indications that such a 
> process did take place in the remote past.
> See the following simplified chart.
> Data for proto-Indo-European from 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_language and 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_pronouns_and_particles. 
> Data for Turkic from "Sravnitel'no-istoricheskaya grammatika 
> tyurkskikh yazykov - Morfologiya", Nauka, Moscow 1988, pp.204, 347.
>                 1sg  2sg   3sg      1pl  2pl     3pl
> Proto-Indo-European
>  pronouns*       me   te   tom      nos  wos     tons
>                            tem                   tehns
>  verb suffixes  -mi  -si   -ti     -mes -the     -nti
> Proto-Turkic
>  pronouns       man- san-  in-      biz  siz
>  verb suffixes  -man -syng -syghyn -lyq -synglar -syghynlar
>                 -myn                    -synyz
> Proto-Semitic
>  pronouns
>  verb suffixes
> (I will leave others to fill in this last section.)
> * PIE pronouns given in the accusative as nominatives are sometimes 
> very different.
> It seems to me that there is enough commonality between all of these 
> lists to propose a common origin for all three sets of suffixes and 
> all three sets of pronouns. 

HH: This thinking follows a sort of developmental, evolutionary model 
for language, but the Genesis record shows Adam speaking from the very 
first day, and many languages sprang up instantly at the tower of Babel. 
So  language was apparently given to us wholecloth. Of course there has 
been evolutionary development since that time.

HH: I see the connection between pronouns and suffixes in Hebrew, and it 
is fine to expect some connection developmentally. Perhaps the pronoun 
should be given priority. But the details are far from clear.

Harold Holmyard

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