[b-hebrew] Genesis 31: 47 - Suffix -UT

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 28 22:48:55 EST 2007

Hi Isaac,

See comments below:

> David,
> Whenever you look at an U and an I [also O and E] in a Hebrew word you 
> see a universal identity marker [also known as a personal pronoun], 
> invariably. 

Isaac, whenever I see a 'u' and an 'i' I see a vowel -- not necessary a 
person-number-gender (PNG) inflection. I don't know why you say I see it 
when I don't, esp. when I keep pointing out that this is so.

If T is not radical, then it is a personal pronoun,
> invariably. I have said this repeatedly on this list [also, of course, 
> in my book, which can be seen in its entirety at www.hebrewetymology.com 
> <http://www.hebrewetymology.com>]. 

That is simply false and this type of mistake lies at the very heart of 
your erroneous methodology. /t/ as a phoneme in BH is open to be used: 
1) within the 'root' for any given word; 2) within the paradigm of 
independent personal pronouns; 3) as verbal and nominal marking of PNG; 
and 4) within any other morpheme with various functions, eg -ut. So 
basically anywhere. It seems to me you do not understand what phonemic 
status entails. /t/ as a phoneme is not constrained to equate solely to 
either a 'root' letter or a marker of PNG. The fact that you insist this 
is so is a mystery to me. You attempt some sort of advanced linguistic 
analysis of Hebrew, yet you seem to not have a sufficient grasp of 
foundational linguistic methodology.

> It is for illustrative purposes only that I specifically read -U- as 
> HU), and -I- as HI). Consider the example of $-U-LAX, $AL-U-AX, and 
> $ALX-U, of the root $LX, 'send'. Even though the latter means 'THEY have 
> sent' I permit myself to read it as $ALX-HU) by virtue of the 
> universality of U.

There is no sense to 'illustrative purposes' if it is just plain wrong. 
In any case, there is nothing 'universal' about 'u'. As a vowel, it is 
not constrained for use simply as a marker of PNG. The phonemic status 
of /u/ dictates that this is so. It is secondary to this that this vowel 
is used in some situations as a marker of PNG. Moreover, I think $-U-LAX 
and $AL-U-AX are figments of your imagination: they form no part of the 
paradigm for $LX. You see PNG marking where morphemes semantically 
indicate something entirely different -- but now in this case you're 
even adding vowels in for extra pronouns! Once you begin to operate with 
the methodology you do, it seems there's no end to how many pronouns you 
can 'find'!

> I am preparing now a reply to Kenneth Greifer in which I will elaborate 
> on this in some greater detail. 
> Isaac Fried, Boston University   

I wish you wouldn't. We all know what you think, and since it has no 
basis in reality it is better you kept your views to yourself to save 
tiring the list with any more of this.

David Kummerow.

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