[b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sun Oct 14 18:00:50 EDT 2007

On 10/14/07, Isaac Fried wrote:
> Jim,
> just be aware of the fact that Yitzhak Sapir's recently repeated
> claim to the effect that; "The Sade of Hebrew refers to what was
> originally three consonants in Hebrew" is not only unsubstantiated
> but is actually meaningless.

Hello Isaac,

I could have revised my statement above to read: Hebrew's Sade is
the reflex of what was originally three different consonants in
Northwest Semitic, some of which may have survived in Hebrew in
ancient times but were eventually lost."  However, it is rather unlikely
that it is this slight difference in meaning which brings you out to say
what you've said.  Also, although you've called me previously a
dilettante, you have failed to provide any kind of credentials in the
field of linguistics yourself.  You are welcome to do so now, now that
you find time to relate to what I write again.

If anyone on this list is propounding unsubstantiated and meaningless
theories it is you.  Surprisingly, it is not me, but you who is a
staff member of a university, and is bound by regulations requiring
that new research be published in peer-reviewed venues and in ways
that do not significantly deviate from the academic norm.  I personally
feel that privately publishing a study and then donating it to university
libraries in order to later go on to say on lists that your book "can be
found in hard copy in any good academic library," is a way that
significantly deviates from the academic norm.  But this is for you to
resolve with the academic ethics committee of your university.  For
the purposes of this list, it would suffice if you would show where
Richard Steiner, a very important scholar in the field of Semitic
phonology and author of "Ancient Hebrew" , in Robert Hetzron's
"The Semitic Languages," errs when he writes:
"Seven of the Proto-Semitic fricatives were lost by merger at various
times: the interdentals ... t_' (>s'), ... the laterals l~' (> s') ..." (p. 147)
In the above quote, s' represents an emphatic s (S with a dot or an
apostrophe), whereas t_' represents an emphatic th (T with an underline
and a dot underneath), and l~' represents an emphatic lateral (L with a
squiggly line in the middle and a dot underneath).  Please provide
references in academic literature to substantiate your point about this
grave error.

Yitzhak Sapir

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