[b-hebrew] Interchangeable letters

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Tue Oct 23 00:42:43 EDT 2007


Yigal,

How about $LX, 'send away' and $LK, 'fling away', are they not  
"similar words with the same or a very similar meaning" to warrant  
the consideration of X and K as "interchangeable"?

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Oct 23, 2007, at 12:09 AM, Yigal Levin wrote:

> 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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