[b-hebrew] bi adoni

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Jul 9 14:48:21 EDT 2007


Isaac:

On 7/8/07, Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu> wrote:
> Travis,
>
> One of the reasons that what I am saying is being so little debated
> is because it leaves the contributing members of this list literally
> speechless.

Or would it be more accurate to say that your theories are so
ideologically based that they really are not the proper subject to
argue about on this list?

> ... On the one hand they are reluctant, I think, to
> acknowledge something as radical as this, coming from nowhere and
> never before uttered by the venerable Gesenius [the faithful follower
> of the medieval Jewish grammarians, who got the system from their
> Arab counterparts of Spain],

Not all of us are followers of Gesenius. As for him, what was more
important, the medieval system that he inherited, or the evolutionary
system with its Eurocentrism and racism of which he was a part?

> ... but on the other hand they are unable, I
> think, to concretely refute or contradict it.

How does one refute something that is pure speculation? By using more
speculation?

With Biblical Hebrew, we have a very limited corpus to study. We have
some documents in cognate languages, but not that many that predate
the historical claims for Hebrew. What we have is after it has already
been developed, with no antecedents to tell us etymology. Therefore,
any theory based on etymology is by necessity speculation.

> ... I know that what I am
> saying is inherently correct, and that it actually, decisively,
> completely and elegantly, solve the entire enigma of the structure of
> the Hebrew language, and conclusively clarifies its grammar.

But what if your model is wrong? It may be able to explain the grammar
according to the model, and still be false.

> ... I keep
> saying here what I think needs to be said under the premise that
> behind the vanguard of a few actively contributing list members there
> hides a big army of silent readers, and I know that eventually at
> least some of them will be won over to the side of reason.

An important consideration.

> What I essentially inter alia claim is that the Hebrew tri-literal
> root was not born so fully formed, but was rather built up over time
> of single-literal roots. One of these roots ["reversed cognates"] is
> AB or BA where A is a vowel entered just to facilitate the
> pronunciation. In Hebrew the A vowel may be carried by an Ayin or an
> Aleph indifferently. AB-BA [or AP-PA or AW-WA] essentially means
> 'thick, of actual presence'. In this sense, 'father' is essentially
> 'the thick one, the fat one [father = fat-er?]', and likewise cloud
> [a closed clod of vapor] is also essentially 'the thick one,'---they
> are both in their material essence one and the same. Yet to visually,
> and eventually semantically, distinguish between them )AB, 'father'
> is written with an Aleph and (AB, cloud' is written with an Ayin.
> Likewise, )AP, 'nose', is the fleshy part jutting up on the face
> [recall Song 7:5 "thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh
> toward Damascus"], and (AP, 'fly', means being up [no movement, just
> being up there].

The above is a perfect example of speculation.

> Consider also 1 Samuel 1:20. "she bare a son, and called his name
> Samuel, saying, Because I have asked [root: $)L] him of the LORD." I
> suspect that the original spelling of the name was $MU()EL with an
> Ayin for Listened-God, of the root $M(, but that this Ayin was
> dropped in writing with the intention of achieving in our mind the
> segregation of this and the other ancient name YI$MA()EL. It is also
> clear from this verse that the pious and linguistically monumentally
> gifted Hannah saw the roots $M and $L as being related.

I discussed this verse a while back on this list, in bringing up other
questions. There is no evidence that an ayin was ever in the name, but
there is some (disputed) evidence that the sin and shin may originally
have been one letter, instead of two as recognized by more modern
(including medieval) grammars. Secondly names' meanings did not
necessarily follow the comment about why the names were given, so that
it is possible that Samuel meant "God placed him" following that
Hannah asked for him of the Lord. There is no need for the speculated
relatedness to explain the meaning.

> To see the equivalence of of AB-BA and the other existence markers AG-
> GA [AK-KA, AQ-QA], AL-LA, AN-NA, AS-SA [AD-DA, AC-CA, AT-TA, AZ-ZA]
> consider the Hebrew words: my comments follow yours:
MA-(AB-EH, 'thicket': 1 Kings 7:46, used only here, context indicates
its meaning is "mold", a hollow into which metal is poured to make a
statue
MA-)AP-EH, ' baked [faked?, backed?, bigged?] pastries': baked goods,
referring to the action of baking in an oven. Not all baked goods
rise.
MA-(AQ-EH, 'parapet, battlement': used only once, root unknown,
possibly a loan word
MA-(AL-EH, 'ascent': from the action of going up.
MA-(AS-EH, 'act, deed carried out': OK
MA-)AT-EH, 'covering': from the action of wrapping, such as when
wrapping cloth around an object (spelled with a tet, not a tau), as in
dressing, putting on clothing
MA-(AN-EH, 'reply'.

You were more careful than last time I checked up on you, when you
used non-Biblical roots. But are you not being selective? How do )Z
then, )X woe, )X hibachi, a small, portable cooking device carrying
coals for heating, )+ quietness, not forceful, )N woe, )T plow, (D
witness, (+ sharp tool for engraving, ($ caterpillar, (T time fit into
your scheme?

And to be consistent, would you not have to include words with an
inserted matere lexionis such as )YD misfortune, )YN none,
nothingness, )YK interrogative how, )WT sign, )WB poker, and others?

To me it looks as if your theory is stretching to the breaking point.

...
> Meanwhile we can pleasantly and profitably contemplate the curious
> similarity of )ADON, 'master', of BI )ADONI, and )EDEN 'base', both
> from the root )DN.
>
Are they from the same root? Where is your evidence?

> Isaac Fried, Boston University

Modern science was based on observation, where any use of math and
theory was used to try to explain the observations.

Post-modern science is regressing to pre-modern science, which is
based on theory as taking precedence over observation. In
pre-post-modern science, sitting around and making thought
experiments, often including mathematical models, is considered more
authoritative than physical experiments.

Now we come to linguistics: Biblical Hebrew was written over a span of
about 850 years, when the language was relatively isolated and stable,
with the main observed chronological differences being more in the
area of literary style than language change. Before Moses, we have no
written antecedents to show any prior changes in the language, and
after the Babylonian Exile there is a clear break in the literary
style, consistent with a people who no longer spoke Hebrew as their
main language.

A study of that relatively limited corpus that makes up the Hebrew
Bible shows us certain patterns of language use, lexicography,
grammar, and so forth. But it doesn't show us how it came to be that
way. It doesn't show us why the patterns are as they are. All
observation can tell us is that these patterns exist and what they
are.

Now you come to us with a theory that has no points of observation to
back it up, based on a Weltanschauung that many of us do not share,
then you expect us to accept it as true. The Weltanschauung portions
of your theory are, by prior agreement, not to be argued on this list,
and most of the rest of it is based on unobservable speculation where
we have nothing either to support or disprove your theory, hence most
of us see no reason to argue with you.

In short, we are not impressed with your erudition, rendered
speechless by your theory, rather we see a unique piece of speculation
where the only response is more speculation, a rather useless
exercise. Hence I tend to ignore your postings. The only reason I
answered this one is because of your purpose, "I keep saying here what
I think needs to be said under the premise that behind the vanguard of
a few actively contributing list members there hides a big army of
silent readers, and I know that eventually at least some of them will
be won over to the side of reason."

Karl W. Randolph.



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