[b-hebrew] The root XRS-XR$

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Nov 7 21:56:40 EST 2007


Isaac:

Therefore, because XRWZ is in parallel, it means 'queue'?

I'm sorry, I don't mean this in any way to be disrespectful, but I
just can't take this theory seriously. It keeps falling apart every
time we put it under a microscope.

Now you are using modern Israeli Hebrew as a defense for your
understanding? When I asked modern Israelis visiting at international
conferences, other than those who are closely working with the
language (e.g. those working on Mellel the word processing program),
native Israelis almost without exception tell me that they do not read
Tanakh because the language is so different that they have difficulty
understanding it. In fact, they often misunderstand it. Likewise I
can't read modern Israeli. Pointed vs. unpointed is not the issue.

Like you, my father is a mathematician (you probably could have
guessed from my use of English) and I see in you the same love of
language, and the same insistence on logical patterns within
languages. But unlike my father, I'm a linguist learning despite
dealing through dyslexia (spell checkers are my friends!) and
experience has told me that in practice, these nice patterns don't
exist. This is especially true of ancient languages where they didn't
have spelling conventions, nor fixed syntax (at least Biblical Hebrew
didn't). So I'm not surprised when the exceptions seem to outnumber
examples that follow the rules, or pretty close to it, but those
exceptions do havoc to your theory.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 11/7/07, Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu> wrote:
>
>
> Karl,
>
> If you show to any Hebrew speaking high-school boy the first part of Song of
> Songs 1:10
> נָאווּ לְחָיַיִךְ בַּתֹּרִים
> NA)WU LXAYAYIK BA-TORIM, pretending that it is modern poetry, he will know
> right away what the poet has in mind. Without so much as a hint of
> hesitation he will lay out the scene for you as such. The poet and his
> beloved are standing in line [see Esther 2:12,15 for TOR, line, chain,
> series], say in front of the Clear Flour bakery, on a chilly autumn Sunday
> morning [the line is mostly outside since the bakery can accommodate no more
> than three customers at one time]. Glancing at her sideways he is struck by
> the irresistible sight of her lovely cheeks glowing in the cold.
> But why the plural? Why, Because there is more than one line, there are
> TORIM, to stand at on Sunday morning, and at every line the object of his
> desire is getting prettier and more appealing in the blush of her ruddy
> countenance, and his heart goes out to her.
>
> Isaac Fried, Boston University


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