[b-hebrew] Question

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 11 18:20:24 EST 2007

Hi Pere,

The problem with the statement is that it assumes that the 
gender-marking of the adjective and noun is in fact person-marking 
(speech-participant marking), here third-person. That's why he says "-AH 
refers to the *feminine bearer* of the attribute" and "-AH refers to 
*the thing itself*."

Even more bizarre and illogical is his example of what has traditionally 
been seen to be gender-marking is in fact second-person marking:

"The counterpart to MAR, 'mister' is MAR-AT, where -AT is surely the 
personal pronoun AT, 'you'."

These assertions rest on no linguistic foundation whatsoever and are 
able to be uttered only because of naiveness in relation to the 
fundamentals and basics of general linguistics. No linguist would give 
assent to them.

Rather, gender-marking on nouns and adjectives is an indexical or 
agreement coding strategy which indexes a semantic dependency of that 
indicated by the morpheme in question. In this sense, then, I take it 
that gender-marking "refers", but this issue is actually theoretically 
divisive, so not everyone will agree with this statement. But 
gender-marking on nouns and adjectives is not to be equated and 
collapsed with person-marking!

David Kummerow.

> David,
> I'm not Isaac's advocate, but I ask you: what  do you find to be wrong 
> or mistaken in this statement of his?:
> "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."
> Best regards from
> Pere Porta
> Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain)

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