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

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 26 00:06:17 EST 2007

Hi Isaac,

I think you need to explain what you mean by "function" and "meaning" 
below, specifically: "I don't dispute the function of -UT. Our 
disagreement is on its meaning."

If you agree on the function of the morpheme -ut, it would seem to me 
that your disagreement then is not so much over meaning but on the 
historical make-up of the form, i.e. that it is a fusion and 
grammaticalisation from two (!) independent personal pronouns. However, 
given the function of the morpheme, this proposal is most unlikely 
(actually, I would go as far as to say impossible). It is also 
unsubstantiated, and is as "superficial" as your treatment of the 
English data, which I will not go into.

David Kummerow.

> George,
> I am really, really sorry that you were offended by my choice of
> words. I surely had no intention, be it the slightest, of
> caricaturing your statement, except of recasting it into my own words
> for the sake of my own apprehension.
> For the record, I don't dispute the function of -UT. Our disagreement
> is on its meaning. It is still my understanding that you are saying -
> UT is inherently meaningless [except for it being an abstract
> grammatical marker], while I contend it is a personal pronoun, or a
> string thereof.
> I would be greatly reluctant to comment on the formation of English
> words, but it superficially appears to me that the suffix -ism is the
> compound [via Latin etc., etc.] of the substantives is-am or is-in. I
> am not sure what is the meaning of the suffix -tion, but in any
> event, the consensus is that it is meaningless as a stand-alone.
> I am also surprised and saddened by your qualification of my sincere
> effort, be it extra consensual, to explain my ideas about the Hebrew
> language as "condescending rhetoric".
> Isaac Fried, Boston University

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