[b-hebrew] Masoretic Pointing and CV-syllables

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 21 04:02:13 EDT 2007

Gday Karl,

I'm curious as to how you might suggest CV-only pronunciation of 
one-syllable Hebrew words might fit within your theory, eg 'ish "man", 
kol "all", gam "also", etc. I guess this might well involve recourse to 
  a prior stage of case-marking.

David Kummerow.

> Yitzhak:
> I will make this one statement, but don't expect me to answer you
> should you respond.
> On 8/18/07, Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com> wrote:
>  > On 8/18/07, Peter Bekins wrote:
>  > >
>  > > Tiberian Hebrew is a convenient standard for Biblical Hebrew.
>  >
>  > It is also the most authentic and complete reproduction.  Tiberian
>  > Hebrew represents an authentic tradition of Hebrew that was passed
>  > down even as Hebrew ceased to be spoken.  Even the fact that
>  > Tiberian Hebrew won out against other vocalization schemes is
>  > a result of the scholarship of Tiberias -- where Jerusalem's scholars
>  > fled after they were expelled from Jerusalem.
>  >
> This is a vocalization scheme that was first written down a thousand
> years after Biblical Hebrew ceased to be spoken as anyone's primary
> language. While it gives clues as to how Hebrew was pronounced
> according to the Tiberian tradition as it existed at that time,
> transcriptions of names and words into other languages from the
> preceding centuries indicate that the pronunciation traditions had
> been in flux, so the probability that it was an accurate rendition of
> Biblical Hebrew as it was spoken in Biblical times is practically nil.
> That is further evidenced in that some of the pointings are
> demonstrably wrong as far as meaning is concerned. Linguistic
> influences that would have caused the pronunciation tradition to
> change are Aramaic and to a lesser extent Greek.
>  >
>  > Karl ...
> Maybe you should never discuss any idea that I bring up, because
> almost every time that you do, you either a) make an ad hominem
> attack, b) misrepresent what I say, a straw man logical fallacy, or c)
> let logic fly out the window.
>  > .... has been given ample evidence that Hebrew is not, nor ever was,
>  > a CV language in the sense that he means it.
> The only evidences you have proffered is from a thousand years later,
> which for the reasons given above, cannot be proof, or from other
> languages which, because they are different languages, may have been
> pronounced differently. Hence they cannot be proof.
>  > ...  Karl prides himself in
>  > not learning other cognate languages and has refused to take the time
>  > to even review them even though they seem to have clear relevance for
>  > his arguments.
> Here is an example of where you make a straw man logical fallacy. It
> is not a matter of pride, it is merely a record of how things worked
> out in my life. If I had had my choice, I would have studied Ugaritic,
> Aramaic, Arabic, and the other Semitic languages, but I didn't have
> that opportunity. Not having had that opportunity in the past, I have
> come to the realization that my loss has become my gain, in that I now
> know Biblical Hebrew in a way that you don't. Your knowledge of
> comparative Semitic studies is far better than mine, but my knowledge
> of Biblical Hebrew is better than yours.
>  > ...  He now brings evidence from Akkadian, albeit from a
>  > 60 year old book with Akkadian transcriptions, but this is still
>  > significant because he has consistently denied the validity of
>  > transcriptions in cognate languages as evidence.
> This is an out and out false statement.
>  > ...  (Thus, he has
>  > denied the validity of Egyptian transcriptions for Shin and Sin but
>  > apparently accepts Akkadian transcriptions for his CV theory).
> Again a false statement. What you presented was that other languages
> had that differentiation, but no evidence from Biblical Hebrew was
> presented. My answer at that time was that just because other
> languages had that distinction, does not mean that Biblical Hebrew had
> it. Other languages have/had different pronunciations not found in
> Biblical Hebrew.
>  > ...  From
>  > Gershon Galil's Israel and Assyria (2001, but awarded a 1998 Dan
>  > Bahat prize?), we have the following transcriptions - Omri = hu-um-ri-i,
>  > Damascus = URU di-ma-a'$-qi, Ashdod = As-du-di/du.  But Karl just
>  > refuses any evidence, the conclusions of which contradict what he
>  > thinks.
>  >
>  > Yitzhak Sapir
> In this discussion, there are three possibilities: a) CV, where all
> consonants must be followed by a vowel, like in prewar Japanese, b)
> any consonant may close a syllable, as in modern English, or c) some
> consonants may close a syllable, others must be followed by a vowel,
> like in modern Cantonese. You, Yitzhak, insist on b), all I say is
> that there is a possibility that it was a), but in practice it may
> have been c).  I insist on none of them, rather say that the evidence
> is insufficient to insist that any one is correct. However, the
> evidence does indicate that more vowels may have been pronounced that
> those preserved in the Tiberian tradition.
> Yitzhak, I am not trying to psychoanalyze you, but there seems to be
> an almost pathological effort on your part to try to prove me wrong:
> pathological in that it causes you to let logic and evidence fly out
> the window in your postings. How would it benefit you if you could
> prove me wrong? On a professional level, I don't understand you.
> Professional humility insists that we should acknowledge that there is
> a lot about Biblical Hebrew of which we are unsure, even some things
> that we don't know. Therefore, where there is insufficient evidence
> for any one point of view, we should not insist that our
> interpretation is the only right one.
> I am open to evidence. But if all you have to present is like what was
> in your paragraph above, don't even bother writing it, because I won't
> respond to it.
> Karl W. Randolph.

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