[b-hebrew] final alef and Arabic

Uri Hurwitz uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 20 11:28:12 EDT 2007

             Here are two more examples that classical Arabic retained earlier
   forms of the language of which only traces were preserved in BH:
       Tha Arabic word for daughter is "Bint".The  BH is "BAT", in declension 
  "BITTY" etc. with a Dagesh forte in the T, and the plural "BANOT". This
   Nun in the plural must have come from somewhere.
        Obviously the N dropped out in BH .  Its trace, however,
   was heard by the Massoretes and it was compensated with the Dagesh.
   It reappears only in the plural.
      Similarly is the case of the humble she-goat " EZ",  in declension
   "IZZY"etc. and the plural "IZZIM" with a dagesh in Z. As in the above
   example, the reason is that the N  in an earlier pronounciation, * ANZ
   or *ANZT, dropped. Again,in classical Arabic the N remains throughout,
   as the language retained the earlier form.
    This connection .was clear already to David Kimhi, the 12th century
    To my knowledege no one on this list has argued  that 'Arabic is an older
   version of Hebrew'. Most Semitists recognize that classical Arabic retains 
  many of the features of proto- Semitic and is an important tool in  the study
   of biblical Hebrew.
    Uri Hurwitz
   Joel wrote, inter alia:
    ".....there's really no reason to think that the Arabic represents more
"ancient pronunciation."  Arabic is different than Hebrew, not an
older version of Hebrew."....


.    -Joel    

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