[b-hebrew] "Salt" Statue: Lot's Wife

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Oct 23 00:09:56 EDT 2007


What I mean by "interchangable" is that we find the a very similar word with the same or a very similar meaning either in Hebrew itself or at least in cognate languages. In many cases this can be understood as an indication that the letters used in both were pronounced the same, in others it has to do with the sound that was used in the "original" (usually reconstructed) form, which was expressed with different letters in different but related languages. Hebrew (&R (Ayin-Sin-Resh) and Aramaic and Arabic Ayin-Samekh-Resh both mean "ten". This is because Samekh and Sin are "interchangable" when transferring between the languages. The same is true of Hebrew Zayin in "Zahav" and Aramaic "Dh" in "Dahab" and so on. I know of no case in which Xet becomes Khaph (which is just a "soft" Kaph anyway).

I know that this contradicts your own personal theory, but so does all the rest of what most linguists think.

Yigal Levin
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Isaac Fried 
  To: Yigal Levin 
  Cc: b-hebrew 
  Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 5:19 AM
  Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] "Salt" Statue: Lot's Wife


  Yigal,


  You write:


  "Although the sounds of Het (X in the trasliteration used on this list) and Khaph seem similar to most western ears, and are in fact pronounced the same by many Israelis as 
  well, historically they are not, and the two letters are NEVER interchangeable". 


  Could you tell us, please, what does it mean that letters are "interchangeable", and how you decide which letters are "interchangeable" and which are not? 


  Isaac Fried, Boston University 


  On Oct 20, 2007, at 4:17 PM, Yigal Levin wrote:


    2. However in this case - your suggestion does not work. Although the sounds 

    of Het (X in the trasliteration used on this list) and Khaph seem similar to 

    most western ears, and are in fact pronounced the same by many Israelis as 

    well, historically they are not, and the two letters are NEVER 

    interchangable. So there is no way in which anyone would use Melax (salt) 

    and Melekh (king). As far as Mal)akh (messenger/angel), the Aleph is part of 

    the root (Lamed-Aleph-Kaph), and not just a "vowel-like letter" that can be 

    ignored, although a pun here might work.





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