[b-hebrew] Replaying

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Wed Dec 26 01:33:38 EST 2007



I have spent some time today visiting your site. I am impressed by the intended scope of the undertaking and its organization, yet I admit that I have not examined it close enough to see the advantage of your lists and tables over those found in other Hebrew grammar books, say HEYKAL HAMISQALIM of Y. Abineri, or other dictionaries and available tables of verbs and nouns. I also need to better understand how to search it. It is also not obvious to me to whom it is intended and how they will benefit from it.  

Some specific comments:

  1.. In P-t001 you have 'I will iron', from the new [from Arabic?] root GHC, with a 'xet' instead of a 'he'. In I-t1-07 you have a 'mem' instead of the 'shin' which opens the root $M(, 'hear'.
  2.. At one point I saw some remarks of yours on the word TEBEL, 'world', in which you opined, or leaned on the opinion of some higher authorities, that the initial T is not radical, to the effect that TEBEL = TOBIL from the root YBL. I am finding this argument curious.
  3.. In P-m04 you translate VA-)OR as 'I will cause to shoot'. Is this so?
  4.. In P-m08 you translate VA-YAK of Job 2:7 as '(and} he/it will smite'. Is this true?
  5.. In PS-t005 you say in reference to )ABAQ$AH that the closing he is a 'paragogic' one. I am not sure why you want to use an obscure term that does not explain anything, does not exist in Hebrew, and only leads the reader to suspect that this he is some sort of a pharmaceutical product. Is 'long form' not good enough?
  6.. In N-t003 I think it would be good to differentiate between YARAK, 'spit' and HORIK, 'became green', both from the root YRK. I know that it is not your purpose, but a short reference to the puzzlement as to the semantic proximity of 'spit' and 'green' is possibly due somewhere.
  7.. In Nt017 you bring SYAG MHIRUT for 'limit of speed'. I have never encountered this combination. As far as I know it is now HAGBALAT MHIRUT or MHIRUT MUGBELET. 
  8.. In Nt017 you bring the noun GAMAL, 'camel'. I know that it is not your purpose, but a short reference to the puzzlement as to the semantic proximity of 'camel' and 'recompense' is possibly due somewhere.
  9.. In Nt016 I was surprised to encounter the word STEN, 'mitraillette'. It is in the Hebrew dictionaries only because this English gun name is occasionally found in the Hebrew literature about the time of the British rule over Israel. 

Isaac Fried, Boston University  
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: pporta at oham.net 
  To: Isaac Fried 
  Cc: b-hebrew Hebrew 
  Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2007 5:39 PM
  Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Replaying


  And if -AH, -AT, -ET, -IT are not gender markers, what inherently are they? They must be something well defined within the language. 

  In YI-$LAX, 'he will send' the prefixed YI is according to your way of thinking a person-tense-gender [male] marker, but this same YI becomes a person-gender [female]-mode marker in $ALX-IY, 'send away!'. 


  You are right as regards YI-$LAX. But you are wrong in saying that "this same YI ... in $ALX-IY"
  Indeed, it is not here YI but, as yourself write, IY. These YI and IY are not the same thing... Even if the consonant is the same, the combination is just the reverse of one another! (In English --and in most languages- a 'cane' and  'acne' are not the same thing ...)


  DAT-IY [after Esther 1:13] is 'religious man' but also, surprise, surprise, 'my religion'. What are then all these IY-YI?  It calls for a decisive explanation. 


  Yes. This is what I'm trying to do through my work. See for instance www.oham.net/out/P-t/P-t186.html where the prefix YI is fully defined as regards cases where it comes together with the vowel pattern sheva and patah following it. 

  "Indeed [in the] Hebrew language things are complex and by no means simple" will not do. To the contrary, Hebrew is an absolutely systematic and transparent language. Any part of any of its words can, and need be, fully and clearly accounted for in the context of the language itself.


  I think, Isaac, that Hebrew is systematic. But not to the point that this systematization is, as you write, "absolute". There is a good regularity in the inner nature of most Hebrew words and structures but there are also deviations, exceptions and rarities. 

  Pere Porta
  Barcelona (Spain)


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