[b-hebrew] Studies in Semitic and Biblical Hebrew and external plurals

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Mon Nov 26 15:12:52 EST 2007

The Oriental Institute has published another couple of books online.
One that is possibly interesting to the list is:

SAOC 60. Studies in Semitic and Afroasiatic Linguistics Presented to
Gene B. Gragg. Cynthia L. Miller, ed. 2007.

One interesting article in this book for the list has to do with ellipsis in
Biblical Hebrew.  (p. 193 in the pdf)

Another has to do with the root PQD (p. 55 in the pdf)

But one I found really interesting (that is, I read it first, the
above I haven't
read yet) is:
External Plural Markers in Semitic: A New Assessment. Rebecca Hasselbach
(p. 151 in the pdf)

Some list members might learn from this how real historical linguistics is done.

I bring some examples from Maimon Cohen's The Kethib and Qeri System in
the Biblical Text, a book that takes a thesis too far, but has loads of nice

-y ending
mny vs. mnym 'string instruments' plural of mn
xcy vs xcym - 'arrows' plural of xc
compare 1 Sam 20:21, 22 to 1 Sam 20:37, 38, and especially 1 Sam 20:38
where a kativ/qari appears.
xlwny 'windows' - 1 Kings 6:4
?dry 'great' Ps 15:3
ml?ky 'messengers' Ps 78:49

-w ending

nb?w / nby?y - plural of nby? 'prophet'
2 Kings 10:13
For the use here of kl X kl Y, Cohen brings Gen 7:14, Ez 10:23,
1 Ki 8:37, 38.
Of course, there's also the Gezer tablet yrxw.

See also Jos 6:9, 2 Sam 5:8, 1 Kings 15:15.
However, all these examples are clearly in construct, and a w/y change
may be involved (very common because these letters were very similar
in the "Jewish" script used in the late Second Temple period).

Cohen also brings examples for -h, mainly from $nh and ?mh, but
I think these are much harder to substantiate.

Yitzhak Sapir

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