[b-hebrew] Explain it please

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Tue Dec 11 09:30:23 EST 2007


David,

I did not say I don't understand you. I understand you very well. I  
said that I am unable to make sense of what you are saying.

Isaac Fried, Boston University


On Dec 11, 2007, at 4:24 AM, David Kummerow wrote:

> Dear Isaac,
>
> Do you not understand it all, or only one bit specifically?
>
> In all seriousness, if you are unable to understand these simple  
> linguistic matters I raise, then I think you are unfit to make  
> statements such as the following recent ones:
>
> "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."
>
> And:
>
> "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."
>
> And also:
>
> "5 The counterpart to MAR, 'mister' is MAR-AT, where -AT is surely  
> the personal pronoun AT, 'you'."
>
> Everything I have raised with you is of an elementary and  
> foundational linguistic level. In my opinion, you really need to  
> come to grips with the basics before you attempt more of the  
> "higher level" analysis of which you are attempting. To put it in  
> terms relevant to your own field: you would require of someone  
> attempting algebra to be familiar and able in the basics of  
> addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division else  
> fundamental mistakes would likely be made. This principle is no  
> less relevant to the field of general linguistics. If you were to  
> present these ideas of yours on a linguistics forum they would  
> certainly be deemed "crackpotish".
>
> Regards,
> David.
>
>
>
>> 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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