[b-hebrew] Explain it please

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Tue Dec 11 01:24:21 EST 2007


David,

I am terribly sorry but I am unable to make sense of what you are  
saying.

Isaac Fried, Boston University


On Dec 10, 2007, at 11:50 PM, David Kummerow wrote:

> Hi Isaac,
>
> I take it that you did indeed deny more than one vowel. You stated  
> (http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/2007-November/ 
> 034625.html):
>
> "There is no such thing in Hebrew as a "vowel", except for A. The  
> idea of the vowel is an alien carry-over into Hebrew from Indo- 
> European grammar."
>
> To me this statement can only be construed to mean that you only  
> accept "A" as a vowel in BH -- hence only one vowel.
>
> Do you accept that the "sounds" you list have phonemic status in  
> BH? If so, then a consequence of this is not every "U", "I", etc  
> need be a personal pronoun, which I have outlined in a previous  
> post. This is a by-product of accepting these vowels as phonemes.
>
> In any case, what of my question, namely, What is your evidence for  
> equating what has traditionally been analysed as gender marking to  
> actually be speech-participant marking?
>
> Regards,
> David Kummerow.
>
>
>
>> David,
>> Do you really think that I am, or was, denying the existence of  
>> the U, I, O, E sounds in Hebrew?
>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
>> On Dec 10, 2007, at 11:09 PM, David Kummerow wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi Isaac,
>>>
>>> It puzzles you, I think, because you seem to be unfamiliar with  
>>> basic linguistic principles and methodology, even though you  
>>> yourself propose something "linguistic".
>>>
>>> Am am unsure what you mean by "Where is the single vowel". It was  
>>> you who proposed this idea that BH has only one vowel (http:// 
>>> lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/2007-November/034625.html).  
>>> Are you now suggesting that there are no vowels? or that there  
>>> are more than one vowel and that you are retracting your previous  
>>> assertion?
>>>
>>> I say it is "impossible" because human language requires more  
>>> contrast for linguistic production than what a single vowel can  
>>> provide. Known human languages around the world only minimally  
>>> have two vowels, so the burden of proof rests with you. Further,  
>>> not every theoretical vowel combinations are possible, but those  
>>> with greater contrasts are preferred. See Björn Lindblom,  
>>> "Phonetic universals in vowel systems," in Experimental phonology  
>>> (John Ohala and Jeri Jaeger, eds.; Dordrecht: Foris, 1986), 13-44.
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>> David Kummerow.
>>>
>>>
>>>> David,
>>>> I am really puzzled by your statement:
>>>> your contention -- again without adduced evidence -- that BH has  
>>>> only a
>>>> single vowel is linguistically impossible
>>>> Where is the single vowel and why is it linguistically impossible?
>>>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
>>>> On Dec 10, 2007, at 3:45 AM, David Kummerow wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> Hi Isaac,
>>>>>
>>>>> You wrote this:
>>>>>
>>>>>> 2. Even though -AH is in my opinion but a contracted HI) it  
>>>>>> may refer
>>>>>> to various agents and objects in various relationship modes.  
>>>>>> We have
>>>>>> YALDAH, 'girl, child-she', YALDAH, 'she gave birth, produced-a- 
>>>>>> chid-
>>>>>> she' and YALDAH, 'her boy, boy-she'.
>>>>>
>>>>> and this:
>>>>>
>>>>>> 4. In the adjective TOBAH, 'good', -AH refers to the feminine  
>>>>>> bearer
>>>>>> of the attribute, but in the noun TOBAH, 'favor, goodness', -AH
>>>>>> refers to the thing itself. Incidentally it is "female", as is
>>>>>> autostradah.
>>>>>> 5 The counterpart to MAR, 'mister' is MAR-AT, where -AT is  
>>>>>> surely the
>>>>>> personal pronoun AT, 'you'. MARAH is 'bitter'. Such is also the
>>>>>> relationship between GEBER and GBER-ET.
>>>>>
>>>>> What is the evidence for these assertions?
>>>>>
>>>>> What is your evidence for equating what has traditionally been  
>>>>> analysed
>>>>> as gender marking to actually be speech-participant marking? I've
>>>>> already demonstrated that your methodology is without linguistic
>>>>> support, viz. 1) that you eschew any essential phonemic  
>>>>> analysis which
>>>>> allows you to basically propose anything you want to as it is  
>>>>> then up to
>>>>> the imagination and so is without any constraints; and 2) your
>>>>> contention -- again without adduced evidence -- that BH has only a
>>>>> single vowel is linguistically impossible. These two issues lead
>>>>> ultimately to a fanciful analysis which no one is taking  
>>>>> seriously.
>>>>>
>>>>> You would do well to read monographs which relate to your above
>>>>> assertions such as the following:
>>>>>
>>>>> Corbett, Greville G. 1991. Gender. Cambridge Textbooks in  
>>>>> Linguistics.
>>>>> Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
>>>>>
>>>>> Corbett, Greville G. 2000. Number. Cambridge Textbooks in  
>>>>> Linguistics.
>>>>> Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
>>>>>
>>>>> Siewierska, Anna. 2004. Person. Cambridge Textbooks in  
>>>>> Linguistics.
>>>>> Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
>>>>>
>>>>> Regards,
>>>>> David Kummerow.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> b-hebrew mailing list
>>>>> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>>>>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
>>>>>
>>>
>



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