[b-hebrew] MC) and YC) [was: )CM and )CY]

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Wed May 9 09:18:22 EDT 2007


Jason,

1. There is no need for "incredible semantic gymnastics" in order to  
relate the roots )KL, 'eat', and KL), 'enclose'. Try it. Go on and  
tell people in Israel "KL)ATI a good breakfast" and I promise you  
that you will be perfectly well understood.

In fact the root )KL is a variant of )HL, 'erected a tent', (GL-)GL,  
'round', (QL, 'bent' and (KL, 'consume'. In my humble opinion every  
Hebrew root that contains the letter L refers to an elevated state.

One must carefully separate the concrete meaning of a root from its  
specific metaphorical-circumstantial usage. The toots )GL and (GL are  
distinct, yet they are the same, and so are the roots KL) and QL(.

2. You are right about the Latin 'exit' and 'exist', all I wanted to  
say is that they are compounds. Yet in English they actually became  
[the compound: be-came?] ex-it and ex-ist = ex-is-it.

3. I did not say that English suffers from some inherent "weakness".  
English, as the rest of the Indo-European languages, lost, however,  
its root system forever. Still, 'leave', 'emerge' and 'come out' are  
not the same. My faithful desktop AH Dictionary says about 'emerge'  
that it is 'come forth'. Interestingly enough it adds to it 'come  
into existence'. In any event, my post is decidedly not about English.

4. I strenuously insist that language is static---that it does not  
describe motion at all. The motion (the movie) is rolled in the  
imagination. The extra semantic or lexical meaning assumed by YACA)  
is due to the fact that it is used as an assimilated short form for  
YACA) MIN or YACA) MITOK. Likewise, (LAH means 'was up' and not as  
you put it (I am paraphrasing): "moved from a previous lower state or  
location into a new higher state or location from the perspective of  
the arrival position". Also, BA means 'is here' and not "moved from a  
previous further state or location into a new nearer state or  
location from the perspective of the arrival position". In Job 14:2  
we find: K-CIC YACA), which certainly does not describe any  
horticultural process ongoing in time.

Consider this: post-biblical Hebrew ZAZ means 'moved', everybody  
knows this for an absolutely sure fact, yet MZUZAH is a permanently  
fixed 'door post'. Many Hebrew speakers are mightily puzzled by this  
(Even-Shoshan goes for it to Akkadian, as his habit is in such  
cases). It is only with the greatest circumspection that I dare raise  
in public just the thinnest of hints as to the possibility that ZAZ  
is not 'moved' in the continuous sense since there is no continuous  
movement at all in language.

5. The "niphal binyan" is merely a root preceded by the personal  
pronoun NI for the body in question.

6. Of course you are right. As I said on the list: "the usage of the  
triliteral   root YC) is for something that we imagine (or know) was  
in the past in some sense "inside" and now exists in some sense  
"outside". It is used as the opposite to BA, as in Joshua 6:1: )EYN  
YOCE) V')EN BA "none went out, and none came in".

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On May 8, 2007, at 10:17 PM, Jason Hare wrote:

> Isaac,
>
> In fact, through similarly incredible semantic gymnastics, we might  
> discover
> that אכל )KL "to eat" and כלא KL) "to incarcerate" really mean  
> exactly the
> same thing, since each represents an act of placing one thing  
> inside another
> with the result being a type of conquering of the second thing over  
> the
> first -- in the one case this being the food being placed into the  
> person's
> body and overcome; in the other the person is placed inside a cell and
> overcome. So, you see that the person's body literally  
> "incarcerates" the
> food. In fact, I think I will begin to tell people as soon as I get to
> Israel (in July) that I have already "incarcerated" just to stretch  
> their
> minds and prove the truth flexibility of language. (Tongue in cheek.)
>
> Weaknesses in your claim:
>
> - The word for "leave" is /exire/ in Latin. The -t is simply the  
> personal
> ending and not any kind of remnant of the verb "to be" /esse/ (as you
> suggest by /ex-ist/). In fact, /ist/ is not a Latin form of the  
> existential
> verb. It is /est/ in the present tense (back to Latin 101 again).
>
> - English does not "need two words to express [the] idea" of YC).  
> The words
> "leave" and "emerge" can translate it just as appropriately in many  
> context
> without resorting to two-word combinations. However, this is still no
> argument since it is the nature of Germanic expression to combine  
> adverbials
> into the main verbal concept. Such combinations as "stand up," "walk
> around," and "call out," (among the MANY) all have single verb
> correspondences in Hebrew. Does this indicate something about the  
> weakness
> of English? Perhaps, but it does not mean that this proves that the  
> concept
> is more poorly represented in the English language. This cannot be an
> argument in favor of your position in this post.
>
> - "Existentially all YC) means is that something is, /post factum/,  
> out."
> Actually, YC) represents the concept of motion from a previous  
> state or
> location into a new state or location from the perspective of the  
> arrival
> position. This motion, and not simply the state of being "out," is
> represented by the verb.
>
> - Existential import is brought into MC) through the niphal binyan,  
> in which
> NMC) means "to be found," "to exist." All of the connections with  
> existence
> that you have shown come from this and not from any existential  
> force behind
> the QAL form of MC) or the basic meaning of the shoresh itself.
>
> I stand by what I wrote to John offlist, saying that MC) and YC) do  
> *not*
> mean the same thing, especially not in the verses that he listed,  
> which
> would be great for the disucssion to keep us on topic. In the  
> Genesis verse,
> it says that "for Adam, he did not find a help corresponding to  
> him" --
> WL)DM L) MC) (ZR KNGDW - ולאדם לא מצא עזר כנגדו.  
> It is only through the fact
> that Chavah did not exist that she could not be found, of course.  
> However,
> this is not the case always with MC).
>
> In the Psalms verse, it says that "Israel emerge[d] from their  
> midst" --
> WYWC) Y&R)L MTWKM - ויוצא ישראל מתוכם. This indicates  
> the action of Israel's
> separation from the Egyptians and the move from being "in their  
> midst" to
> NOT being so. The verbs do not, in any way, mean the same thing --  
> any more
> than KL) means "to eat."
>
> Jason Hare
>
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