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

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Thu Apr 19 08:21:11 EDT 2007


According to the opinion of the vast majority of biologists we were  
all, "Semites", "Aryans" etc., at one point (many many years ago)  
exactly as intelligent as an amoeba. By the universal law of  
continuity, one may argue, we were, at one time or another, at every  
stage in-between. Some people credibly believe that man was created  
complete, language and all, ready to make poetry. But even according  
to the bible man was not as intellectually and emotionally astute  
before he ate from the tree of knowledge as he was after the fact.

It did not occur to me to even raise a hint of a claim that  
technologically "primitive" people are less intelligent than people  
who heat their TV dinners in microwave ovens.

To my utter sorrow I am at a loss to know if the Neanderthals spoke  
some sort of Proto-Semitic or some sort of Proto-Esperanto. It is  
really not clear to me how Mr. Neanderthal conveyed to his wife his  
deep wish to have his bear well done.

I think you will agree with me that the phenomenon of Linguistics is  
curious: Here you have super-intelligent, high-powered, goodly- 
supported, vastly-educated, all-knowing, computer-toting, professors  
ponderously discussing a language originally developed by people who  
barely knew how to start a fire.

Language, spontaneously developed, extended by consensus (no books,  
no schools), must be inherently very very simple and systematic. This  
should be the primary axiom of Linguistics, I think. The problem is  
that people have a natural propensity to unwittingly spoil its  
pristine beauty.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Apr 19, 2007, at 6:32 AM, Peter Kirk wrote:

> On 19/04/2007 03:50, Isaac Fried wrote:
>> ... 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). ...
> Isaac, you seem to assume here the old but generally discredited  
> idea (put forward originally by people who also tended to think  
> that we Aryans are less primitive than you Semites, a theory I  
> utterly reject) that "primitive" people in ancient times were less  
> intelligent than modern people. I don't think there is any evidence  
> for this at least since the emergence of Homo sapiens. So, unless  
> you want to claim that Hebrew was originally spoken by Neanderthals  
> or other pre-sapiens species of Homo, then you should not assume  
> that any human language is simple.
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
> Blog:    http://www.qaya.org/blog/
> Website: http://www.qaya.org/

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list