[b-hebrew] Masoretic Pointing and CV-syllables

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 11:23:59 EDT 2007


Dear David:

The question is, were these presently one syllable words that you list
originally one syllable?

On 8/21/07, David Kummerow <farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com> wrote:
> 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.
>
> Regards,
> David Kummerow.

The answer is that we don't know, and the evidence is insufficient to
prove any way. There are too few examples of Biblical Hebrew
pronunciation recorded as transcriptions from when it was spoken
(1400–600 BC) for us to "prove" any proposed pronunciation.

No, I do not consider the Masoretic points to be Biblical Hebrew,
never have, and I see I am not alone. Even in class, my professor
taught that the authentic way to read Biblical Hebrew was without
points, but he did not teach it because that was for advanced scholars
(I disagree with him that it was reserved for advanced scholars).
Because written Biblical Hebrew preserved only the consonants, all
attempts to reconstruct the language's vowels (mine, the Masoretes,
etc) are most likely wrong in details.

Karl W. Randolph.


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