[b-hebrew] Genesis 31: 47: What Foreign Language Is That?

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Sun Nov 25 17:27:46 EST 2007


George,

Even though I fail to see the purpose in your word "plain", I think I  
understand the essence of your argument. And it seems that our  
disagreement is profound and fundamental. You are saying that the  
"suffix" -UT [as are -IT and -OT, and many more] is but a mere random  
syllable [a "particle"] that has no intrinsic meaning and is  
unrelated to any meaningful word in the language. It is a kind of a  
heedless hoot, you are saying, that the ancient Hebrews [Semites]  
added to a root with the "grammatical" intent of producing by dint of  
this addition, as "attested", an "abstract" noun. Correct me please  
if I am misrepresenting your words.
I am sorry, but I have to reject this argument in its entirety and  
without so much as a flinch of doubt. It is inconceivable that a  
logically structured language, such as Hebrew is, root based, and  
developed by consensus, should employ random meaningless sounds for  
abstract "grammatical" purposes.
I believe that all the "prefixes" and "suffixes" of the Hebrew  
language were originally separate words that, by the urgency of  
fluent speech, and the latter conventions of writing, merged into the  
main body of the following or the preceding word.
I can hardly imagine how one may fail to see that the "inflected"  
forms $AMAR-T, 'you [female singular] gurded', $AMAR-TA, 'you [male  
singular] guarded', $AMAR-NU, 'we guarded', and $AMAR-TEM, 'you  
guarded', of the root $MR, is but the congregation of of the separate  
words $AMAR AT, $AMAR ATAH, $AMAR ANU, and $AMAR ATEM, respectively.  
Even the prudent Gesenius fleetingly agrees with this somewhere in  
his grammar book. And if you agree with this you have given your  
consent to a principle, namely, that every T that is not radical is a  
personal pronoun.
With this, everything in the grammar becomes clear, logical, coherent  
and of the utmost generality. Try it on any word of the Hebrew  
language and you will see that I am evidently right.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Nov 25, 2007, at 5:53 AM, George Athas wrote:

>> The Ending -UTA is the grafted combined personal
>> pronoun HU)-AT-HI) or HU)-ATAH
>
>
>
> No, Isaac, I disagree. It's not that at all. The particle -UT is a
> plain noun marker, usually of abstract nouns, attested in Hebrew and
> Aramaic.
>
>
>
> Best Regards,
>
> GEORGE ATHAS
> Moore Theological College (Sydney)
> 1 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia
> Ph: (+61 2) 9577 9774
>
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