[b-hebrew] [b-Hebrew] Hebrew-speaking Philistines

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Tue Oct 23 06:37:26 EDT 2007

On 10/23/07, Kevin Riley wrote:
> What's a good study on the relationship between early Hebrew and the
> Canaanite language/dialects? Also, does anyone know of a scholarly source
> That summarizes what we've learned about Canaanite religion, culture, and
> Language from the Ugarit rediscovery in Syria in 1928?
> Gary Hedrick

> Apart from "Dialect Geography of Syria-Palestine, 1000 - 586 BC" by Randall
> Garr (1985) [particularly chapter 5], I don't know of anything dealing
> specifically with Canaanite dialects. I would recommend  "The Semitic
> Languages" by Robert Hetzron (Ed) as a good place to start a search for
> answers.  It will allow you to see Hebrew within the larger picture of
> Semitic languages.  The standard view is that Hebrew, Phoenician, Moabite,
> Ammonite and the language of the El-Amarna letters are all dialects of
> Canaanite.  There is an excellent book on Ugarit, but unfortunately I can't
> remember the name right now.  I am sure someone else will know.  There have
> been a number of good articles published if you have access to a good
> library.

On Ugaritic, see "Ugarit and the Bible":

I dislike "Dialect Geography."  While it gives a lot of data on the differences
and similarities, its analysis of linguistic relationships is, I
believe, faulty.
Almost ten years earlier Hetzron published his landmark article on Genetic
subgrouping.  This view on genetic subgrouping has become mainstream,
but during the 80s there were still attempts to suggest a different method.

There are unfortunately, no good overviews in book-length today (that I know
of, anyway).  I was looking at Saenz-Badillos and it is also problematic in
this regard.  Some good chapter-length treatments include:
"Genetic subgrouping" by Alice Faber in the above mentioned The Semitic
Languages, "Remarks on the Classification of NWS" by John Huehnergard
in The Balaam Text from Deir Alla Re-evaluated, and "Historical Phonology
and the Hebrew Piel" by Huehnergard as well, in Linguistics and Biblical
Hebrew.  "Remarks on the Classification" is probably closest to what you


Yitzhak Sapir

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