[b-hebrew] Replaying

pporta at oham.net pporta at oham.net
Tue Dec 18 01:25:27 EST 2007

You bring the examples of the acts DIBAR-TI, DIBER [any person markers in DIBER?] and DIBR-U, but let's look at DIBR-AH. Here -HA is as you say a person marker. But it is also a gender maker since it reveals to us the gender of the speaker. Any question about the KOHEN family answered by HI) identifies MARAT KOHEN. It is also a tense marker since it informs us of the relative time frame of the act. So, -AH is here a three-in-one maker. On the other hand in the noun DIBR-AH, 'saying', [as in (ASERET HA-DIBROT] the same -AH is used to inform us something utterly irrelevant, namely the "gender" of 'saying'.


I think we agree. Indeed Hebrew language things are complex and by no means simple... 
You ask: Any person marker in DIBER?  And one could answer: No person marker here so that we could say that when there is no person marker... then the IMPLIED person marker is that of third person singular masculine. 
But... then... what about, say, these Imperative forms with no explicit person marker such as $:LAX!, send! (1Sa 20:31) or $:)AL!, ask! (1Ki 3:5) that refer to second -and no more to third-  person singular masculine? 
Maybe could we say here that the sheva after the first root consonant is the person marker? Look at www.oham.net/out/N-t/N-t017.F.2.html

So the above assertion  -no person marker = third person singular masculine-   would be true only for the Past or Perfect... 

Indeed, it is inconceivable that the ancient Hebrews would have encumbered, say, ')ADAM-AH, 'earth' with the "suffix" -AH just to inform us about something that is utterly irrelevant, and that springs into existence post factum only by dint of the -AH affixation, namely the "gender" of 'earth'. To the contrary, after -AH is added, for whatever reason, the noun becomes classified as "feminine" in the sense of requiring a matching coupler ending for a qualifier as in )ADAM-AH TOB-AH, or as in D)AGAH (AMUQ-AH, 'deep worry', and so on.


Yes, I think you are right.


Local conclusion: -AH, -AT, -ET, -IT are not gender markers. 


You  --we--- should better say that -AH, -AT, -ET, -IT are this and this and this... and ALSO gender markers.

The -AH in the noun "DIBRAH" you mentionned is a good example of gender marker. We find other samples in Ne 8:12; 13:5 or in Is 1:21.
But... even here we must be careful: in numbers... final -AH means masculine (look at Lv 27:6, five shekels)

Global conclusion: Hebrew does not have a marker specific for gender.   


True. But even if it has no specific marker for gender... it has some gender markers such as 

1. -AT ---------  PIQAXAT, (female) seer (not in the Bible) <> PIQ"AX, (male) seer or seeing (Ex 4:11) or YODA(AT, (female) who knows (Nm 31:17) <> YOD"(A, (male) who knows (Js 22:22)

2. -ET ---------- )AXERET, other (female) (last word in Gn 17:21) as compared to )AX"R, other (male) (last word in Rt 2:22) or GAXELET, hot coal(s) (Is 47:14) (root: gxl, kindle, burn)

3. -IYT --------- $"NIYT, second (female) (last word in Lv 13:5) as compared with $"NIY, second (male) (last word in Gn 1:8)

and as it will be clear from the explanation pages I'm being making ready (for the pattern type look for instance at www.oham.net/out/S-t/S-t1904.html

none of these -AT, -ET or -IYT refer to a male (1). 

(1) There is perhaps the exception of Qal Imperative, second person masculine singular, of some verbs: GA(AT, touch! (you, male) and the -AT or -ET marking the construct state in some cases as that we find in Js 1:11: $:lo$et yamym, three days.

Pere Porta
Barcelona (Spain)

  Isaac Fried, Boston University

    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: pporta at oham.net 
    To: Isaac Fried 
    Cc: b-hebrew Hebrew 
    Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 9:20 PM
    Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Replaying

    It has been my experience of many years that planting a new idea is easy but supplanting an existing idea is nigh impossible. Planted ideas are the MASMROT NTU(IM of Ecclesiastes 12:11. Explaining is also best done interactively.


    You appear to agree with David that "gender-marking is not person-marking!", so pray, explain to me first what is in your opinion a Hebrew "gender-marking", 

    "Gender-marker" is every "device" that tells to the reader or the listener which is the gender of the being/thing (person, object, animal, mind being...) dealt with.

    And so,

    1. A final -AH is a "gender-marker" in "na(arAH", girl (Rt 2:6), compared with "na(ar", boy (Gen 37:2)
    2. A final -T is a "gender-marker" in "(omedeT" (Hag 2:5) compared with "(omed" (Gen 18:8)

    what is a Hebrew "person-marking", and why "gender-marking IS NOT [or can not be] person-marking".

    "Person-marker" is every "device" that tells to the reader or the listener which is the person (I, you, he, we...) who/which speaks, acts... and so on...


    1. A final -TY is a "person-marker" in "dibarTY", I spoke (Js 1:3) compared with "diber", he spoke (Gen 18:8)
    2. An initial "Yi" is a "person-marker" AND at a time a "tense-marker" in "yishlax", he will send (Gn 3:22) compared with 'shalax", he sent.
    2. A final -U is a "person-marker" in "dibrU", they spoke (Gn 45:15), compared with "diber", he spoke (Gen 

    Person-markers apply to verbs (or verb forms) and personal pronouns. 

    and why "gender-marking IS NOT [or can not be] person-marking".

    These are two quite different concepts. The same as this: color and thickness are differents things or concepts... and they can be found coexisting together in a given object, let us say in a piece of chalk (a blue thick piece of chalk or a thick blue piece of chalk) or not... 
    Now, can a color be or become thickness?  Surely no!  
    Can thickness be or become a color?  Surely no!

    What can you argue against this? 

    Pere Porta
    Barcelona (Spain)

      Isaac Fried, Boston University      

      On Dec 13, 2007, at 6:54 AM, <pporta at oham.net> wrote:

            person-marking. I repeat: gender-marking is not person-marking!


        As regards noun-adjective, yes, I agree.

        By the way, I think the problem with Isaac Fried is this: either he does not 
        want to strive to explain things in such a manner that most of us can 
        understand what he says....  or really his theories, statements, assertions 
        and so on are without any solid base.

        If it is the first thing .... there is no point in keeping discussing with 
        him. And if it is the second thing... ... the same!

        If he sincerely thinks he is right, he should do every effort to explain his 
        ideas... specially when some of listers have read his writing/s  --whose URL 
        Isaac himself gave us here some days ago--  and his ideas or message did not 
        become clearer to readers after reading it/them.

        This is, imho, the central issue, the core thing with him.

        Pere Porta


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