[b-hebrew] Two X letters

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Oct 30 13:38:06 EDT 2007


On 10/29/07, Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu> wrote:
> Karl,
> The two suppositions are, of course, not symmetrical. If two letters
> merge the evidence is lost, but if a letter splits, the splinters are
> left with us.
> Isaac Fried, Boston University
I looked back over the homonym tables that Peter Kirk and I discussed
a while back. In the list that Peter devised based on scholarly
consensus, even though the percentage of homonyms for roots containing
X is higher than average, it is within the standard deviation for
homonyms for all roots. Because its percentage is within the standard
deviation, it would seem that evidence from within Hebrew for X to
have come from two original letters is weak.

The expectation is that if X originally came from two original
letters, then the percentage of homonyms containing a X should be
significantly higher than average.

I also checked the list as I had it after adjusting for action based
definitions instead of form based, and in that second list the
percentage is even closer to average.

Therefore, based on statistics, the evidence that Biblical Hebrew
originally had two letters X that combined into one is weak at best.

Karl W. Randolph.

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