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

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Wed Apr 18 22:50:13 EDT 2007


George,

I tend to agree with you that what I am saying about the structure of  
the Hebrew word is, as you gently put it, "novel" and "not supported  
by any other study", but I find nothing inherently wrong with this.  
Not that I dare compare myself to him, but Albert Einstein's theory  
of relativity also came out of the blue, unsupported by any other  
previous study.

Hebrew grammar as we know it is handed down to us practically  
unchanged straight from the Middle Ages. It is as R. D. QIMXI  
(1160-1235) conceived it by the methodology of the enlightened Arab  
grammarians of of his era. It is time to give it a new scientifically  
unbiased reconsideration.

One of the hurdles I am facing is that Linguistics (even Physics) is  
not mathematics. If called to task, I could provide a decisive proof  
to Pythagoras' theorem in under 7 minutes, but will be at great loss  
to prove the atomic theory of matter, or even explain why it is  
"true". There is another fundamental difference between the natural  
sciences and Linguistics. Whereas Physics contends with studying the  
infinity of God's limitlessly complex creation, from the endlessly  
micro-microscopic to the endlessly macro-macroscopic, Linguistics is  
relegated to the study of a mere man-made device. Language was  
created by utterly "primitive" people, and was developed by consensus  
by still utterly simple minded, yet supremely practical, people  
(unless you believe in its divine origin). Language must be, at its  
core, something very very simple. If somebody starts to strut about  
with a puffed-up linguistic or grammatical vocabulary you can be sure  
that he is on the wrong track.

I know that my chances of making quick "inroads" into the Linguistic  
mainstream are slim. There is no magic proof to what I say---I don't  
have a magic staff to fling down that will turn into a snake. What I  
say about the inner structure of the Hebrew language is the result,  
though, of many years of assiduously and thoughtfully (I hope)  
digging into the innards of the language. The conclusions I reached  
are to my utter satisfaction. The theory I propose appears to me to  
logically, comprehensively, cogently, and simply, explain every  
aspect of the Hebrew language. The "solid evidence" you are talking  
about is in the pudding---you taste it and you will see that it is  
good. I am serious, but the deal is this: I propose the theory, you  
provide the proof. It works both ways, people may not agree with me,  
but I have never encountered a credible refutation.

Otherwise, I have piled all my rambling thoughts (up to 2004) into my  
book: "ha-etimologyah ha-analitit ve-ha-sintetit shel ha-lashon ha- 
Ivrit" (1116 pages, English introduction, bible paper, soft cover,  
sold new, at cost, for $18 at Amazon.com).

Meanwhile I indulge in listing on b-hebrew, reading interesting and  
ingenious posts, and showing from time to time how my own way of  
thinking smoothly tackles any Hebrew word. It will take time, but  
eventually I will find converts. Ultimately, as is often the case in  
science, somebody important will catch up on it, will claim that it  
is, of course, all very simple (and he is actually, of course, very  
right), and that he knew it all along. He will make a name for  
himself (the second Gesenius!) and poor IF will be forgotten.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Apr 17, 2007, at 3:42 AM, George Athas wrote:

> As I've mentioned before, Isaac, your view of Hebrew as outlined in  
> your
> email is rather novel. It is not supported by any other study, as  
> far as I
> am aware. To make some inroads in the field you're going to have to  
> provide
> some solid evidence for your theories. Uri's response highlights  
> one area
> for consideration: cognate analysis.
>
>
> Best Regards,
>
> GEORGE ATHAS
> Moore Theological College (Sydney)
> 1 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia
> Ph: (+61 2) 9577 9774
[cut]
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