[b-hebrew] thank an ancient vowel

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sat Oct 6 15:27:59 EDT 2007

On 10/6/07, Yaakov Stein wrote:
> > The Fekherye inscription, the earliest Aramaic inscription, is a
> > bilingual inscription in Aramaic and Akkadian from the 9th century BCE.
> > The inscription already shows the use of mater lectionis
> The Bilaam Barbeor text, in some Aramaic-Hebrew dialect, probably within
> a century of the Fekherye inscription,
> use the final H and W, but no indication of vocalization inside words.

I have read quite a few studies dealing specifically with the language of the
Balaam Texts the past few weeks.  I am personally convinced that the
Balaam Texts are pure Aramaic.  However, even if they are not, it is
unanimously agreed that they use Aramaic orthography.

> The Shiloah inscription, and inscriptions from Arad already have
> indications inside words.

I disagree regarding the Siloam inscription.  But this has nothing to do with
the article that dated the innovation to Solomon's time.  These inscriptions
are much later than other clear uses of matres lectionis -- including inside
words -- in Aramaic.  As I pointed out, this starts out with the Fekherye
inscription for which the bilingual translation leaves no doubt that there are
matres lectionis.

Yitzhak Sapir

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