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

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 26 17:59:32 EST 2007

Hi Isaac,

What I mentioned in my post is neither abstract nor vague, but precisely 
what you need to demonstrate in order for your theory to be listened to. 
It is a straight-forward way for you to progress. You want to repeatedly 
combine personal pronouns together, but you need to articulate how this 
is functionally achieved, and to also bring examples where this process 
may be seen. Until you do so you will unlikely gain any adherents. (Of 
course, this is all just hypothetical from my point of view as I am 
entirely certain that such combining of separate marked speech 
participants is linguistically impossible. Possible under some theory, 
of which you are an example, but not in the real world.)

In any case, what you list below is entirely different from what we are 
discussing. As I mentioned previously, verbal BH inflections may indeed 
be diachronically related to independent personal pronouns. But this is 
a separate matter to saying that -ut = hu' + 'attah. Due to their 
definite and specific semantics, personal pronouns cannot be building 
blocks of new vocabulary nor new morphemes willy-nilly, and especially 
could not combine together into new compound forms of the like you 
repeatedly inform us of if they had not lost their marking of distinct 
speech participants. What would be the speaker's need to combine hu' + 
'attah to produce -ut, an abstraction marker? How can these forms which 
designate separate speech participants be combined in this manner? Why 
and how did they lose their speech participant meaning? And if it is now 
a compound form with no marking of speech participants, why keep 
referring to the diachonic makeup of the form when this is no longer 
apparent both formally nor functionally (I am just going along here with 
the argument as I do not accept that this is the diachonic heritage of 
the morpheme in question)?

Until you substantively address any of these issues rather than assert, 
I do not have the time nor desire to respond. Indeed, I am of like mind 
to Dr Lehmann.

David Kummerow.

> David,
> I have horror of abstract arguments and vague courses of reasoning. If 
> you are interested in keeping this discussion going, then we must keep 
> it concrete and focused. 
> I asked you if you [not some doctoral candidate at MIT] agree that
> where AT, ATAH, ANU and ATEM are the stand-alone Hebrew personal 
> pronouns, but did not receive a clear answer. 
> These equalities are so obvious, or apparently obvious, that they have 
> surly been observed over time by many a discerning Hebraist. As I said 
> before, even the usually reticent Gesenius remarks on it somewhere in 
> his grammar book. Also on the similar composite structure of the 
> prefixed forms.    
> Isaac Fried, Boston University  

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