[b-hebrew] BO and BO)

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Tue Aug 21 15:52:44 EDT 2007


James,

I believe that man is "hardwired" for one purpose only: to be in the shape
and image of God, namely, to have a body and soul interacting in divine
harmony, with the sole and overriding imperative to do His (or nature's)
bidding.  Everything else follows from this.

I saw Steven Pinker's interesting book 'The language instinct' some time ago
and am awaiting now the sequels: "The money-making instinct" and "The
succeeding-in-academia instinct", which as you know, are also both
"hardwired" into us.

For a moment I was hopeful that you would perceive the ingenuity of Hebrew
(which is surely an invented language of supremely intelligent design), but
then, at the critical moment you hastily retreated back into the convenience
of convention. I know it is difficult to accept that the Hebrew language
consists solely of existence markers, a plurality marker and identity
markers (this is what reality is: existence + plurality + identity), but by
the same token there are many people who have a hard time accepting that all
matter consists of zillions of tiny, identical, lively creatures called
atoms, consisting themselves of elementary particles such as protons,
neutrons and electrons.

Pay attention to the fact that AB-BA is a reference to the single-consonant
root B that I am saying may be pronounced as AB or BA.

I think we should leave alone the hooting and hissing Amazon Indians and
concentrate instead on Hebrew. I am not excluding the possibility that the
eminent American linguistics professor did not encounter a new tribe but
rather fell upon a day trip party of the local asylum. Your obsession with
"primitive" languages appears to me also misguided. There is no language (I
am ignorant of Chinese) on the face of this earth more primitive than Hebrew
(and its sisters). In fact, I can hardly see how a language can be,
constructively, simpler than Hebrew. What can be simpler than a language of
existence + plurality + identity, which is the very essence of our material
reality? What language has simpler and more transparent words than BO, ZO,
LO, MO? I am afraid you are also confusing the constructive stage of the
language leading to the word with the evocative or imaginative part of the
language from the word on.

I can imagine the Amazon Indians laughing their belly off upon learning that
the language of the people camping by the River Thames is so primitive that
it has no word for producing music.

I invite you to read my book, which can be found in hard copy in any good
academic library, or in electronic form on my site www.hebrewetymology.com.
It lists all the Hebrew (+Aramaic) roots extant, resolved into their
elementary or constituent components. See (open mindedly) how the Hebrew
root is assembled from the existence and plurality markers, and then how the
root is turned into a word by the addition of identity markers (personal
pronouns). I am convinced you will be eventually swayed into the camp of
reason as there is no alternative (except for a No Alternative theory) to
what I am suggesting.

Your question as to how I got there is patently unscientific, yet the answer
is By thinking hard over many years.

Isaac Fried, Boston University
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "JAMES CHRISTIAN READ" <JCR128 at student.anglia.ac.uk>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2007 10:17 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] BO and BO)


> Hi Isaac,
>
> any theory that attempts to account for language by its
> building blocks is worth considering. Language is, after
> all, a combinatorial process. Morphemes + roots = words,
> words + more words = meaningful clauses. Clauses + more
> clauses = meaningful sentences. Sentences + more
> sentences = meaningful paragraphs. Paragraphs + more
> paragraphs = a story. So it would make sense that a
> primitive languages' phonemes had conceptual meaning of
> their own which could be combined to express more
> meaningful concepts.
>
> However, a number of things you say need addressing in
> my mind:
>
> 1) Your ideas about man 'inventing' language are
> demonstrably incorrect. Language is an instinct which
> are hardwired to acquire from birth and, some argue,
> perhaps even before. A good read on this subject is
> Steven Pinker's 'The language instinct'. We have no more
> control over our destiny to learn a language than a
> spider does over its destiny to instinctively learn
> how to spin a web or than a bee does to instinctively
> learn how to make honey. Our language acquiring hardware
> is built atop of our cognitive system and other animals
> cannot learn our complex languages because they lack
> the hardware to do it.
>
> 2) With the concepts you propose it is impossible to
> make more complex meanings other than he/she/it is etc.
> How can you possibly expect to make more complex
> meanings out of the ingredients:
>
> i) forms of the verb 'to be'
> ii) personal pronouns
> iii) concept of plurality
>
> I was actually getting interested in your theory up to
> the point where you presented this nonsense list of
> ingredients.
>
> 3) There are still many surviving languages that have
> their root system in tact. Can you provide any parallel
> examples from living languages. I would start your
> search in a place like this
> http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/04/16/070416fa_fact_colapinto?currentPage=all
> An excellent example of what languages probably used to
> be like.
>
> 4) The whole story seems to be lacking in any formal
> description of what process you used to reach your
> conclusions. Was there any scientific method used? What
> inspired you to do this work? Are you absolute in your
> conclusions? Or do you acknowledge that there are
> problems with your model?
>
> Yours respectfully
>
> James Christian Read
> BSc Computer Science (thesis: concept driven machine translation using the
> Aleppo codex)
> http://www.lamie.org/hebrew




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