[b-hebrew] Hebrew as a spoken language

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu Oct 25 20:28:05 EDT 2007

On 10/25/07, Dave Washburn wrote:
>  And I'm not sure when we agreed that Hebrew did "survive in
> some small cities that people could visit to learn Hebrew."  I have never
> suggested such a thing; all along I have said that Hebrew "survived" as
> a religious language, which is to say it fell into narrowly specialized use.
> In this regard it "died out" just the same as Latin did at the end of the
> Roman period.  It only "survived" as  a religious language, restricted to
> specialized usage.  That's not survival in the linguistic sense.

Perhaps you should reread what I wrote?

I wrote, in part:

> Both Eastern and Western varieties of Aramaic still survive
> in various communities in Arab countries, despite the lingua franca having
> been Arabic for a thousand years.  Can we deny that Hebrew did not
> similarly survive, slowly dying out over centuries in various communities?

You wrote:

> This appears to be a straw man argument, because I don't know of
> anyone who actually claims it died  out *completely*.

Just in case it is not clear, Neo-Aramaic survives as a spoken living dialect
of various towns, not restricted to simply a religious language.

Yitzhak Sapir

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